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1  .    •  / 

,  > 















To  the  Present  Edition. 

-  ♦  » 

Perhaps  the  Annals  of  History  do  not 
furnish  a  period,  more  appropriate  for  the 
dissemination  of  the  political  opinions  of 
the  Immortal  Locke,  than  the  present;  when 
Sovereigns  and  Governmemts,  are  eagerly 
waiting,  and  readily  embracing  every  opportu- 
nity to  increase  their  Power ;  and  when  many 
of  the  Governed  are  equally  impatient  under 
the  wholesome,  as  well  as  the  more  oppressive 
Laws  of  those  that  govern ;  to  lay  before  both 
parties,  the  real  origin  of  the  power  of  the  One, 
and  for  what  purpose  it  was  granted ;  and  the 
just  obedience  due  by  the  Other  ;  when  those 
purposes  tend  to  the  preservation,  and  good  of 
society  in  general. 

London,  January,  1821- 










HEADER,  thou  hast  here  the  beginning  and 
end  of  a  discourse  concerning  government; 
what  fate  has  otherwise  disposed  of  the  papers 
that  should  have  fdled  up  the  middle,  and 
were  more  than  all  the  rest,  it  is  not  worth 
while  to  tell  thee.  These,  which  remain,  I 
hope  are  sufficient  to  establish  the  throne  of 
our  great  restorer,  or  present  King  William ; 
to  make  good  his  title,  in  the  consent  of  the 
people,  which  being  the  only  one  of  all  lawful 
governments,  he  has  more  fully  and  clearly, 
than  any  prince  in  Christendom ;  and  to 
justify  to  the  world  the  people  of  England, 
whose  love  of  their  just  and  natural  rights, 
with  their  resolution  to  preserve  them,  saved 
the  nation  when  it  was  on  the  very  brink  of 
slavery  and  ruin.  If  these  papers  have  that 
evidence,  I  flatter  myself  is  to  be  found  in 
them,  there  will  be  no  great  miss  of  those 
which  are  lost,  and  my  reader  may  be  satisfied 
without  them :    for    1   imagine,    I    shall    have 


neither  the  time,  nor  inclination  to  repeat  my 
pains,  and  till  np  the  wanting  part  of  my 
answer,  by  tracing  Sir  Robert  again,  through 
all  the  windings  and  obscurities,  which  are  to 
be  met  with  in  the  several  branches  of  his 
wonderful  system.  The  king,  and  body  of  the 
nation,  have  since  so  thoroughly  confuted  his 
Hypothesis,  that  I  suppose  no  body  hereafter 
will  have  either  the  confidence  to  appear 
against  our  common  safety,  and  be  again  an 
advocate  for  slavery;  or  the  weakness  to  be 
deceived  with  contradictions  dressed  up  in  a 
popular  stile,  and  well-turned  periods :  for  if 
any  one  will  be  at  the  pains,  himself,  in  those 
parts,  which  are  here  untouched,  to  strip  Sir 
Robert's  discourses  of  the  flourish  of  doubtful 
expressions,  and  endeavour  to  reduce  his  words 
to  direct,  positive,  intelligible  propositions,  and 
then  compare  them  one  with  another,  he  will 
quickly  be  satisfied,  there  was  never  so  much 
glib  nonsense  put  together  in  well-sounding 
English.  If  he  think  it  not  worth  while  to 
examine  his  works  all  through,  let  him  make 
an  experiment  in  that  part,  where  lie  treats  of 
usurpation  ;  and  lot  him  try,  whether  he  can, 
with  all  his  skill,  make  Sir  Robert  intelligible, 
and  consistent  with  himself,  or  common  sense. 
J  should  not  speak  so  plainly  of  a  gentlemen. 


long  since  past  answering,  had  not  the  pulpit, 
of  late  years,  publicly  owned  his  doctrine,  and 
made  it  the  current  divinity  of  the  times.  It  is 
necessary  those  men,  who  taking  on  them  to 
be  teachers,  have  so  dangerously  misled  others, 
should  be  openly  shewed  of  what  authority  this 
their  Patriarch  is,  whom  they  have  so  blindly 
followed,  so  that  they  may  either  retract  what 
upon  so  ill  grounds  they  have  vented,  and 
cannot  be  maintained  ;  or  else  justify  those 
principles  which  they  preached  up  for  gospel ; 
though  they  had  no  better  an  author  than 
an  English  courtier:  for  [  should  not  have 
writ  against  Sir  Robert,  or  taken  the  pains  to 
shew  his  mistakes,  inconsistencies,  and  want 
of  (what  he  so  much  boasts  of,  and  pretends 
wholly  to  build  on)  scripture- proofs,  were  there 
not  men  amongst  us,  who,  by  crying  up  his 
books,  and  espousing  his  doctrine,  save  me 
from  the  reproach  of  writing  against  a  dead 
adversary.  They  have  been  so  zealous  in  this 
point,  that,  if  I  have  done  him  any  wrong,  1  can- 
not hope  they  should  spare  me.  I  wish,  where 
they  had  done  the  truth  and  the  public  wrong, 
they  would  be  as  ready  to  redress  it,  and  allow 
its  just  weight  to  this  reflection,  viz.  that  there 
cannot  be  done  a  greater  mischief  to  prince  and 
people,    than  the    propagating    wrong    notions 


concerning  government:  that  so  at  last  all 
times  might  not  have  reason  to  complain  of 
the  drum  ecclesiastic.  If  any  one,  concerned 
really  for  truth,  undertake  the  confutation  of 
my  hypothesis,  I  promise  him  either  to  recant 
mistake,  upon  fair  conviction ;  or  to  answer 
his  difficulties.  But  he  must  remember  two 

First,  That  cavilling  here  and  there,  at  some 
expression,  or  little  incident  of  my  discourse, 
is  not  an  answer  to  my  book. 

Secondly,  That  I  shall  not  take  railing  for 
arguments,  nor  think  either  of  these  worth  my 
notice:  Though  1  shall  always  look  on  my- 
self as  bound  to  give  satisfaction  to  any  one 
who  shall  appear  to  be  conscientiously  scru- 
pulous in  the  point,  and  shall  shew  any  just 
grounds  for  his  scruples. 

I  have  nothing  more,  but  to  advertise  the 
reader,  that  Observations  stands  for  Observa- 
tions on  Hobbes,  Milton,  &c.  and  that  a  bare 
quotation  of  pages  always  mean  Pages  of  his 
Patriarcha.     Edit.  1680. 




Chapter.  Page. 

I.     The  Introduction  •  1 

II.     Of  Paternal  and  Regal  Power  5 

III.  Of  Adam's  Title  to  Sovereignty 

by  Creation  .  •  15 

IV.  Of  Adam's  Title  to   Sovereignty 

by  Donation,  Gen.  i.  28.  23 

V.     Of  Adam's   Title  to  Sovereignty 

by  the  Subjection  of  Eve  48 

VI.     Of  Adam's   Title  to  Sovereignty 

by  Fatherhood  .  55 

VII.  Of  Fatherhood  and  Property,  con- 
sidered together  as  Fountains  of 
Sovereignty  .  83 

VIII.     Of  the  Conveyance  of  Adam's  So- 
vereign Monarchical  Power  90 

IX.     Of  Monarchy,  by  Inheritance  from 

Adam  .  .  94 

X.     Of  the  Heir  to  Adam's  Monar- 
chical Power  .  .  H6 

XI.     Who  Heir?  .  U9 







The  Introduction 



Of  the  State  of  Nature 



Of  the  State  of  War 



Of  Slavery 



Of  Property 



Of  Paternal  Power 



Of  Political  or  Civil  Society 



Of   the    Beginning   of   Political 

Societies  .  .  20.0 

IX.     Of  the  Ends  of  Political  Society 

and  Government  .  294 

X.     Of  the  forms  of  a  Commonwealth  300 
XI.     Of  the  Extent  of  the  Legislative 

Power  .  .  301 

XII.  Of  the  Legislative,  Executive, 
and  Federative  Power  of  the 
Commonwealth  .  313 

XIII.  Of   the     Subordination     of    the 

Powers  of  the  Commonwealth    310 

XIV.  Of  Prerogative  .  327 
XV.     Of  Paternal,  Political  and  Despo- 

tical  Power,  considered  together  330 
XVI.     Of  Conquest  .  340 

XVII.     Of  Usurpation  .  358 

XVIII.     Of  Tyranny  360 

XIX.  Of  the  Dissolution  of  Govern- 
ment .  .  .  370 




§.  1.  Slavery  is  so  vile  and  miserable  an 
estate  of  man,  and  so  directly  opposite  to  the 
generous  temper  and  courage  of  our  nation  ; 
that  it  is  hardly  to  be  conceived,  that  an  Eng- 
lishman, much  less  a  gentleman,  should  plead 
for  it.  And  truly  I  should  have  taken  Sir 
Robert  Filmers  Patriarcha,  as  any  other  trea- 
tise, which  would  persuade  all  men,  that  they 
are  slaves,  and  ought  to  be  so,  for  such  another 
exercise  of  wit,  as  was  his  who  writ  the  en- 
comium of  Nero;  rather  than  for  a  serious 
discourse  meant  in  earnest,  had  not  the  gravity 
of  the  title  and  epistle,  the  picture  in  the  front 
of  the  book,  and  the  applause  that  followed  it, 
required  me  to  believe,  that  the  author  and 
publisher  were  both  in  earnest.  I  therefore 
took  it  into  my  hands  with  all  the  expectation, 
and  read  it  through  with  all  the  attention  due 
to  a  treatise  that  made  such  a  noise  at  its 
coming  abroad,  and  cannot  but  confess  myself 
mightily  surprised    that  in  a  book,  which  v,  is 


to  provide  chains  for  all  mankind,  I  should  find 
nothing  but  a  rope  of  sand,  useful  perhaps 
to  such,  whose  skill  and  business  it  is  to  raise 
a  dust,  and  would  blind  the  people,  the  better 
to  mislead  them  ;  but  in  truth  not  of  any  force 
to  draw  those  into  bondage  who  have  their  eyes 
open,  and  so  much  sense  about  them  as  to 
consider,  that  chains  are  but  an  ill  wearing, 
how  much  care  soever  hath  been  taken  to  file 
and  polish  them. 

§.  2.  If  any  one  think  I  take  too  much  liberty 
in  speaking  so  freely  of  a  man,  who  is  the  great 
champion  of  absolute  power,  and  the  idol  of 
those  who  worship  it ;  I  beseech  him  to  make 
this  small  allowance  for  once,  to  one,  who,  even 
after  the  reading  of  Sir  Robert's  book,  cannot 
but  think  himself,  as  the  laws  allowr  him,  a 
freeman :  and  I  know  no  fault  it  is  to  do  so, 
unless  any  one  better  skilled  in  the  fate  of  it, 
than  I,  should  have  it  revealed  to  him,  that  this 
treatise,  which  has  lain  dormant  so  long,  was, 
when  it  appeared  in  the  world,  to  carry,  by 
strength  of  its  arguments,  all  liberty  out  of  it ; 
and  that  thenceforth  our  author's  short  model 
was  to  be  the  pattern  in  the  mount,  and  the 
perfect  standard  of  politics  for  the  future.  His 
system  lies  in  a  little  compass,  it  is  no  more 
but  this, 

That  all  government  is  absolute  monarchy. 
And  the  ground  he  builds  on,  is  this, 

That  no  man  is  born  free. 

%.  3.  In  this  last  age  a  generation  of  men  has 


sprung  up  amongst  us,  that  would  flatter 
princes  with  an  opinion,  that  they  have  a 
divine  right  to  absolute  power,  let  the  laws 
by  which  they  are  constituted,  and  are  to 
govern,  and  the  conditions  under  which  they 
enter  upon  their  authority,  be  what  they  will, 
and  their  engagements  to  observe  them  never  so 
well  ratified  by  solemn  oaths  and  promises.  To 
make  way  for  this  doctrine,  they  have  denied 
mankind  a  right  to  natural  freedom  ;  whereby 
they  have  not  only,  as  much  as  in  them  lies, 
exposed  all  subjects  to  the  utmost  misery  of 
tyranny  and  oppression,  but  have  also  unset- 
tled the  titles,  and  shaken  the  thrones  of 
princes :  (for  they  too  by  these  men's  system, 
except  only  one,  are  all  born  slaves,  and  by 
divine  right  are  subjects  to  Adams  right  heir;) 
as  if  they  had  designed  to  make  war  upon  all 
government,  and  subvert  the  very  foundation 
of  human  society,  to  serve  their  present  turn. 

§.  4.  However  we  must  believe  them  upon 
their  own  bare  words,  when  they  tell  us,  we 
are  all  born  slaves,  and  we  must  continue  so, 
there  is  no  remedy  for  it ;  life  and  thraldom 
we  entered  into  together,  and  can  never  be 
quit  of  the  one,  till  we  part  with  the  other. 
Scripture  or  reason  I  am  sure  do  not  any  where 
say  so,  notwithstanding  the  noise  of  divine 
right,  as  if  divine  authority  hath  subjected  us 
to  the  unlimited  will  of  another.  An  admi- 
rable state  of  mankind,  and  that  which  they 
have  not  had  wit  enough  to  find  out  till  this 

b  2 


latter  age.  For,  however  Sir  Robert  Filmet 
seems  to  condemn  the  novelty  of  the  contrary 
opinion,  Pair.  p.  3.  yet  1  believe  it  will  be  hard 
for  him  to  find  any  other  age,  or  country  of 
the  world,  but  this,  which  has  asserted  mo- 
narchy to  be  jure  divino.  And  he  confesses, 
Patr.  p.  4.  That  Heyivard,  Blackwood,  Bar- 
clay, and  others,  that  have  bravely  vindicated  the 
right  of  Icings  in  most  points,  never  thought 
of  this,  but  with  one  consent  admitted  the  natural 
liberty  and  equality  of  mankind. 

§.  5.  By  whom  this  doctrine  came  at  first 
to  be  broached,  and  brought  in  fashion  amongst 
us,  and  what  sad  effects  it  gave  rise  to,  I  leave 
to  historians  to  relate,  or  to  the  memory  of 
those,  who  were  contemporaries  with  Sibthorp 
and  Mantuering,  to  recollect.  My  business  at 
present  is  only  to  consider  what  Sir  Robert 
Filmer,  who  is  allowed  to  have  carried  this 
argument  farthest,  and  is  supposed  to  have 
brought  it  to  perfection,  has  said  in  it ;  for  him 
every  one,  who .  would  be  as  fashionable  as 
French  was  at  court,  has  learned,  and  runs 
away  with  this  short  system  of  politics,  viz. 
Men  are  not  born  free,  and  therefore  could 
never  have  the  liberty  to  choose  either  governors, 
or  forms  of  government .  Princes  have  their 
power  absolute,  and  by  divine  right ;  for  slaves 
could  never  have  a  right  to  compact  or  consent. 
Adam  was  an  absolute  monarch,  and  so  arc  all 
princes  ever  since. 



Of  Paternal  and  Regal  Power. 

§.  (>.  Sir  Robert  Filmers  great  position  is, 
that  men  are  not  naturally  free.  This  is  the; 
foundation  on  which  his  absolute  monarchy 
stands,  and  from  which  it  erects  itself  to  such 
an  height,  that  its  power  is  above  every  power, 
caput  inter  nubila,  so  high  above  all  earthly  and 
human  things,  that  thought  can  scarce  reach  it; 
that  promises  and  oaths,  which  tie  the  infinite 
Deity,  cannot  confine  it.  But  if  this  foundation 
fails,  all  his  fabric  falls  with  it,  and  governments 
must  be  left  again  to  the  old  way  of  being 
made  by  contrivance,  and  (he  consent  of  men 
('A»'fyw7nV>/  Kriair)  making  use  of  their  reason  to 
unite  together  into  society.  To  prove  this  grand 
position  of  his,  he  tells  us,  p.  12.  Men  are 
horn  in  subjection  to  their  parents,  and  therefore 
eannot  be  free.  And  this  authority  of  parents 
he  calls  royal  authority,  p.  12,  14.  Fatherly 
authority,  right  of  fatherhood,  p.  12,  20.  One 
Mould  have  thought  he  would, in  the  beginning  of 
such  a  work  as  this,  on  which  was  to  depend 
the  authority  of  princes,  and  the  obedience  of 
subjects,  have  told  us  expressly,  what  that 
fatherly  authority  is,  have  defined  it,  though 
not  limited  it,  because  in  some  other  treatises 
of  his  he  tells  us,  it  is  unlimited  and  unlimit- 


able* ;  he  should  at  least  have  given  us  such 
an  account  of  it,  that  we  might  have  had  an 
entire  notion  of  this  fatherhood,  or  fatherly  au- 
thority, whenever  it  came  in  our  way  in  his 
writings :  this  I  expected  to  have  found  in  the 
first  chapter  of  his  Patriarcha.  But  instead 
thereof,  having,  1.  en  passant,  made  his  obey- 
sance  to  the  arcana  imperii,  p.  5.  2.  made  his 
compliment  to  the  rights  and  liberties  of  this  or 
any  other  nation,  p.  6.  which  he  is  going  pre- 
sently to  null  and  destroy ;  and,  3.  made  his 
leg  to  those  learned  men,  who  did  not  see  so 
far  into  the  matter  as  himself,  p.  7.  he  comes 
to  fall  on  Bellarmine,  p.  8.  and,  by  a  victory 
over  him,  establishes  his  fatherly  authority 
beyond  any  question.  Bellarmine  being  routed 
by  his  own  confession,  p.  11.  the  day  is  clear 
got,  and  there  is  no  more  need  of  any  forces : 
for  having  done  that,  I  observe  not  that  he 
states  the  question,  or  rallies  up  any  arguments 
to  make  good  his  opinion,  but  rather  tells  us 
the  story,  as  he  thinks  fit,  of  this  strange  kind 
of  domineering  phantom,  called  the  father- 
hood, which  whoever  could  catch,  presently 
got  empire,  and  unlimited  absolute  power.  He 
assures  us  how  this  fatherhood  began  in  Adamf 

*  In  grants  and  gifts  that  have  their  original  from  God  or 
nature,  as  the  power  of  the  father  hath,  no  inferior  power  of 
man  can  limit,  nor  make  any  law  of  prescription  against 
them.     Observations,  158. 

The  scripture  teaches,  that  supreme  power  was  originally 
in  the  father,  without  any  limitation.     Observations,  245. 


continued  its  course,  and  kept  the  world  in 
order  all  the  time  of  the  patriarchs  till  the  flood, 
got  out  of  the  ark  with  Noah  and  his  sons, 
made  and  supported  all  the  kings  of  the  earth 
till  the  captivity  of  the  Israelites  in  Egypt,  and 
then  the  poor  fatherhood  was  under  hatches, 
till  God,  by  giving  the  Israelites  kings,  re-esta- 
blished the  ancient  and  prime  right  of  the  lineal 
succession  in  paternal  government.  This  is  his 
business  from  p.  12,  to  p.  19.  And  then  obvia- 
ting an  objection,  and  clearing  a  difficulty  or 
two,  with  one  half  reason,  p.  23.  to  confirm 
the  natural  right  of  regal  power,  he  ends  the 
first  chapter.  I  hope  it  is  no  injury  to  call  an 
half  quotation  an  half  reason ;  for  God  says, 
Honour  thy  father  and  mother  ;  but  our  author 
contents  himself  with  half,  leaves  out  thy  mo- 
ther quite,  as  little  serviceable  to  his  purpose. 
But  of  that  more  in  another  place. 

§.  7.  I  do  not  think  our  author  so  little  skilled 
in  the  way  of  writing  discourses  of  this  nature, 
nor  so  careless  of  the  point  in  hand,  that  he  by 
oversight  commits  the  fault,  that  he  himself,  in 
his  Anarchy  of  a  mixed  Monarchy,  p.  239.  ob- 
jects to  Mr.  Hunton  in  these  words :  Where 
first  I  charge  the  author,  that  he  hath  not  given 
us  any  definition,  or  description  of  Monarchy  in 
general;  for  by  the  rules  of  method  he  should 
have  first  defined.  And  by  the  like  rule  of  me- 
thod Sir  Robert  should  have  told  us,  what  his 
fatherhood  or  fatherly  authority  is,  before  he 
had   told  us,  in  whom  it  was  to  be  found,  and 


talked  so  much  of  it.  But  perhaps  Sir  Robert 
found,  that  this  fatherly  authority,  this  power 
of  fathers,  and  of  kings,  for  he  makes  them 
both  the  same,  p.  24.  would  make  a  very  odd 
and  frightful  figure,  and  very  disagreeing  with 
what  either  children  imagine  of  their  parents, 
or  subjects  of  their  kings,  if  he  should  have 
given  us  the  whole  draught  together  in  that 
gigantic  form,  he  had  painted  it  in  his  own 
fancy;  and  therefore,  like  a  wary  physician, 
when  he  would  have  his  patient  swallow  some 
harsh  or  corrosive  liquor,  he  mingles  it  with  a 
large  quantity  of  that  which  may  dilute  it;  that 
the  scattered  parts  may  go  down  with  less 
feeling,  and  cause  less  aversion. 

§.  8.  Let  us  then  endeavour  to  find  what 
account  he  gives  us  of  this  fatherly  authority, 
as  it  lies  scattered  in  the  several  parts  of  his 
writings.  And  first,  as  it  was  vested  in  Adam, 
he  says,  Not  only  Adam,  but  the  succeeding 
patriarchs,  had,  by  right  of  fatherhood,  royal 
authority  orcr  their  children,  p.  1*2.  This  lord- 
ship which  Adam  by  command  had  orcr  the 
whole  uorld,  and  by  right  descending  from  him 
the  patriarchs  did  enjoy,  was  as  large  and  ample 
as  the  absolute  dominion  of  any  monarch,  which 
hath  been  since  the  creation,  p.  13.  Dominion 
of  life  and  death,  making  war,  and  concluding 
peace,  p.  13.  Adam  and  the  patriarchs  had 
absolute  power  of  life  and  death,  p.  35.  Kings, 
in  the  right  of  parents,  succeed  to  the  exercise 
of  supreme  jurisdiction,  p.  19.     As  kingly  power 


is  by  the  law  of  God,  so  it  hulk  no  inferior  fate 
to  limit  it ;  Adam  was  lord  of  all,  p.  40.  The 
father  of  a  family  governs  by  no  other  lair,  than 
by  his  own  will,  p.  78.  The  superiority  of 
princes  is  above  laws,  p.  79.  The  unlimited 
jurisdiction  of  kings  is  so  amply  described  by 
Samuel,  p.  80.  Kings  are  above  the  laws,  p.  03. 
And  to  this  purpose  see  a  great  deal  more 
which  our  author  delivers  in  JBodins  words : 
It  is  certain,  that  all  laws,  privileges,  and  grants 
of  princes,  have  no  force,  but  during  their  life; 
if  they  be  not  ratified  by  the  express  consent,  or 
by  sufferance  of  the  prince  following,  especially 
privileges,  Observations,  p.  279.  The  reason, 
why  laws  have  been  also  made  by  kings,was  this  ; 
when  kings  were  either  busied  with  tears,  or  dis- 
tracted with  public  cares,  so  that  every  private 
man  could  not  have  access  to  their  pjersons,  to 
learn  their  wills  and  pleasure,  then  were  laws  of 
necessity  invented,  that  so  every  particular  sub- 
ject might  find  his  prince  s  pleasure  dccyphcrcd 
unto  him  in  the  tables  of  his  lairs,  p.  02.  In  a 
monarchy,  the  king  must  by  necessity  be  above 
the  laws,  p.  100.  A  perfect  kingdom  is  that, 
wherein  the  king  rules  all  things  according  to 
his  own  will,  p.  100.  Neither  common  nor 
statute  laics  are,  or  can  be,  any  diminution  of 
that  general  power,  which  kings  have  over  their 
people  by  right  of  fatherhood,  p.  115.  Adam 
was  the  father,  king,  and  lord  over  his  family ; 
a  son,  a  subject,  and  a  servant  or  slave,  were  one 
and  the  same  thing  at  first.     The  father  had 


power  io  dispose  or  sell  his  children  or  servants ; 
whence  ive  find,  that  the  first  reckoning  up  of 
goods  in  scripture,  the  man-servant  and  the  maid- 
servant, are  numbered  among  the  possessio?is  and 
substance  of  the  owner,  as  other  goods  were, 
Observations  Pref.  God  also  hath  given  to  the 
father  a  right  or  liberty,  to  alien  his  power  over 
his  children  to  any  other ;  whence  we  find  the 
sale  and  gift  of  children  to  have  been  much  in 
use  in  the  beginning  of  the  ivorld,  when  men  had 
their  servants  for  a  possession  and  an  inheritance, 
as  well  as  other  goods ;  whereupon  we  find  the 
power  of  castrating  and  making  eunuchs  much 
in  use  in  old  times,  Observations,  p.  155.  Lata 
is  nothing  else  but  the  will  of  him  that  hath  the 
power  of  the  supreme  father,  Observations,  p. 
223.  It  teas  God's  ordinance  that  the  supre- 
macy should  be  unlimited  in  Adam,  and  as  large 
as  all  the  acts  of  his  will;  and  as  in  him  so  in 
all  others  that  have  supreme  power,  Observa- 
tions, p.  245. 

§.  9.  I  have  been  fain  to  trouble  my  reader 
with  these  several  quotations  in  our  author's 
own  words,  that  in  them  might  be  seen  his  own 
description  of  his  fatherly  authority,  as  it  lies 
scattered  up  and  down  in  his  writings,  which 
he  supposes  was  first  vested  in  Adam,  and  by 
right  belongs  to  all  princes  ever  since.  This 
fatherly  authority  then,  or  right  of  fatherhood, 
in  our  author's  sense,  is  a  divine  unalterable 
right  of  sovereignty,  whereby  a  father  or  a 
prince  halh  an   absolute,   arbitrary,  unlimited. 


and  unlhnitable  power  over  the  lives,  liberties, 
and  estates  of  his  children  and  subjects ;  so 
that  he  may  take  or  alienate  their  estates,  sell, 
castrate,  or  use  their  persons  as  he  pleases,  they 
being  all  his  slaves,  and  he  lord  or  proprietor 
of  every  thing,  and  his  unbounded  will  their  law. 
§.  10.  Our  author  having  placed  such  a 
mighty  power  in  Adam,  and  upon  that  sup- 
position founded  all  government,  and  all  power 
of  princes,  it  is  reasonable  to  expect,  that  he 
should  have  proved  this  with  arguments  clear 
and  evident,  suitable  to  the  weightiness  of  the 
cause ;  that  since  men  had  nothing  else  left 
them,  they  might  in  slavery  have  such  undeni- 
able proofs  of  its  necessity,  that  their  con- 
sciences might  be  convinced,  and  oblige  them 
to  submit  peaceably  to  that  absolute  dominion, 
which  their  governors  had  a  right  to  exercise 
over  them.  Without  this,  what  good  could 
our  author  do,  or  pretend  to  do,  by  erecting 
such  an  unlimited  power,  but  flatter  the  natural 
vanity  and  ambition  of  men,  too  apt  of  itself  to 
grow  and  encrease  with  the  possession  of  any 
power?  and  by  persuading  those,  who,  by  the 
consent  of  their  fellow-men,  are  advanced  to 
great,  but  limited  degrees  of  it,  that  by  that 
part  which  is  given  them,  they  have  a  right  to 
all,  that  was  not  so ;  and  therefore  may  do 
what  they  please,  because  they  have  authority 
to  do  more  than  others,  and  so  tempt  them 
to  do  what  is  neither  for  their  own,  nor  the 


good  of  those  under  their  care;  whereby  great 
mischiefs  cannot  but  follow. 

§.  11.  The  sovereignty  of  Adam,  being  that 
on  which,  as  a  sure  basis,  our  author  builds 
his  mighty  absolute  monarchy,  I  expected,  that 
in  his  Patriarcha,  this  his  main  supposition 
would  have  been  proved,  and  established  with 
all  that  evidence  of  arguments,  that  such  a 
fundamental  tenet  required  ;  and  that  this,  on 
which  the  great  stress  of  the  business  depends, 
would  have  been  made  out  with  reasons  sufti- 
cient  to  justify  the  confidence  with  which  it 
was  assumed.  But  in  all  that  treatise,  I  could 
find  very  little  tending  that  way  ;  the  thing  i> 
there  so  taken  for  granted,  without  proof,  that 
I  could  scarce  believe  myself,  when,  upon  at- 
tentive  reading  thai  treatise,  I  found  there  so 
mighty  a  structure  raised  upon  the  bare  sup- 
position of  this  foundation :  for  it  is  scarce 
credible,  that  in  a  discourse,  where  he  pretends 
to  confute  the  erroneous  principle  of  man's 
natural  freedom,  he  should  do  it  by  ;i  bare 
supposition  of  Adam's  authority,  without  offer- 
ing any  proof  for  that  authority.  Indeed  he 
confidently  saj  s,  that  Adam  had  royal  authority, 
p.  12,  and  13.  absolute  lordship  and  dominion 
°f  Hfo  filld  death,  p.  13.  an  universal  monarchy, 
p.  33.  absolute  power  of  life  and  death,  p.  35. 
He  is  very  frequent  in  such  assertions ;  but, 
what  is  strange,  in  all  his  whole  Patriarcha  1 
find  not  one  pretence  of  a  reason  to  establish 


this  his  great  foundation  of  government;   noi 
an)    thing   that    looks   like   an  argument,  but 

these  words :  To  con/um  this  natural  right  of 
regal  power,  tee  find  in  the  Decalogue,  that  the 
law  which  enjoins  obedience  to  kings,  is  delivered 
in  the  terms,  Honour  thy  father,  as  if  all  power 
were  originally  in  the  father.  And  why  nia\ 
I  not  add  as  well,  that  in  the  Decalogue,  the 
law  that  enjoins  obedience  to  queens,  is  de- 
livered in  the  terms  of  Honour  thy  mother,  as 
if  all  power  were  originally  in  the  mother  1 
The  argument,  as  Sir  Robert  puts  it,  will  hold 
as  well  for  one  as  the  other:  but  of  this,  more 
in  its  due  place. 

§.  12.  All  that  I  take  notice  of  here,  is,  that 
this  is  all  our  author  says  in  his  first,  or  any  oi 
the  following  chapters,  to  prove  the  absolute 
power  of  Adam,  which  is  his  great  principle: 
and  yet,  as  if  he  had  there  settled  it  upon  sure 
demonstration,  he  begins  his  second  chapter 
with  these  words,  13y  conferring  these  proofs 
and  reasons,  drawn  from  the  autho)  ity  of  the 
scripture.  Where  those  proofs  and  reasons  for 
Adam's  sovereignty  are,  bating  that  of  Honour 
thy  father,  above  mentioned,  I  confess,  I 
cannot  find;  unless  what  he  says,  p.  11.  In 
these  words  we  have  an  evident  confession,  viz.  of 
Bellarmine,  that  creation  made  man  prince  of 
his  posterity,  must  be  taken  for  proofs  and 
reasons  drawn  from  scripture,  or  for  any  sort 
of  proof  at  all:  though  from  thence  by  a  new 
way  <  f  inference,   in  the  words  immedia"  ,_ 


following,  he  concludes,  the  royal  authority  of 
Adam  sufficiently  settled  in  him. 

§.  13.  If  he  has  in  that  chapter,  or  anywhere 
in  the  whole  treatise,  given  any  other  proofs  of 
Adams  royal  authority,  other  than  by  often 
repeating  it,  which  among  some  men,  goes  for 
argument,  I  desire  any  body  for  him  to  shew 
me  the  place  and  page,  that  I  may  be  convinced 
of  my  mistake,  and  acknowledge  my  oversight. 
If  no  such  arguments  are  to  be  found,  I  beseech 
those  men,  who  have  so  much  cried  up  this 
book,  to  consider,  whether  they  do  not  give  the 
world  cause  to  suspect,  that  it  is  not  the  force 
of  reason  and  argument,  that  makes  them  for 
absolute  monarchy,  but  some  other  by  interest, 
and  therefore  are  resolved  to  applaud  any  au- 
thor, that  writes  in  favour  of  this  doctrine, 
whether  he  support  it  with  reason  or  no.  But 
I  hope  they  do  not  expect,  that  rational  and 
indifferent  men  should  be  brought  over  to  their 
opinion,  because  this  their  great  doctor  of  it,  in 
a  discourse  made  on  purpose,  to  set  up  the 
absolute  monarchical  power  of  Adam,  in  oppo- 
sition to  the  natural  freedom  of  mankind,  has 
said  so  little  to  prove  it,  from  whence  it  is 
rather  naturally  to  be  concluded,  that  there  is 
little  to  be  said. 

§.  14.  But  that  I  might  omit  no  care  to 
inform  myself  in  our  author's  full  sense,  I  con- 
sulted his  Observations  on  Aristotle,  Hobbes,  §c. 
to  see  whether  in  disputing  with  others  he  made 
use  of  any  arguments  for  this  his  darling  tenet 


of  Adams  sovereignty ;  since  in  his  treatise  of 
the  Natural  power  of  Kings,  he  hath  been  so 
sparing  of  them.  In  his  Observations  on  Mr. 
Uobbess  Leviathan,  1  think  he  has  put,  in 
short,  all  those  arguments  for  it  together,  which 
in  his  writings  I  find  him  any  where  to  make 
use  of:  his  words  are  these:  If  God  created 
only  Adam,  and  of  a  piece  of  him  made  the 
ivoman,  and  if  by  generation  from  them  two,  as 
parts  of  them,  all  mankind  be  propagated: 
if  also  God  gave  to  Adam,  not  only  the 
dominion  over  the  woman  and  the  children 
that  should  issue  from  them,  but  also  over 
all  the  earth  to  subdue  it,  and  over  all  the 
creatures  on  it,  so  that  as  long  as  Adam  lived, 
no  man  could  claim  or  enjoy  any  thing  but  by 
donation,  assignation  or  permission  from  /tim, 
I  wonder,  &c.  Observations,  p.  165.  Here  we 
have  the  sum  of  all  his  arguments,  for  Adam's 
sovereignty,  and  against  natural  freedom,  which 
I  find  up  and  down  in  his  other  treatises:  and 
they  are  these  following ;  God's  creation  of 
Adam,  the  dominion  he  gave  him  over  Eve,  and 
the  dominion  he  had  as  father  over  his  children: 
all  which  I  shall  particularly  consider. 


Of  Adam's  Title  to  Sovereignty  by  Creation. 

§.  15.  Sir  Robert,  in  his  preface  to  his  Ob- 
servations on  Aristotle  s  Politics,  tells  us,  A 


natural  freedom  of  mankind  cannot  be  supposed 
without  the  denial  of  the  creation  of  Adam  : 
but  how  Adams  being  created,  which  was 
nothing  1ml  his  receiving  a  being  immediately 
from  omnipotence  and  the  hand  of  God,  gave 
Adam  a  sovereignty  over  any  thing-,  I  cannot 
sec,  nor  consequently  understand,  how  a  sup- 
position of  natural  freedom  is  a  denial  of 'Adam's 
creation,  and  would  be  glad  any  body  else 
(since  our  author  did  not  vouchsafe  us  the 
fa \ our)  would  make  it  out  for  him:  for  1  find 
no  difficulty  to  suppose  thv  freedom  of  mankind, 
though  I  have  always  believed  the  creation  of 
Adam.  He  was  created,  or  began  to  exist  by 
God's  immediate  power,  without  the  interven- 
tion ofparents  or  the  pre-existence  of  any  of  the 
same  species  to  beget  him,  when  it  pleased 
God  he  should  ;  and  so  did  the  lion,  the  king 
of  beasts,  before  him,  by  the  same  creating 
power  of  God  :  and  if  hare  existence  by  that 
power,  and  in  that  way,  will  give  dominion 
without  any  more  ado,  our  author,  by  this 
argument,  will  make  the  lion  have  as  good  a 
title  to  it,  as  he,  and  certainly  the  ancienter. 
No!  for  Adam  had  his  title  by  the  appointment 
of  God,  says  our  author  in  another  place. 
Then  hare  creation  gave  him  not  dominion, 
and  one  might  have  supposed  mankind  free 
without  the  denying  the  creation  of  Adam, 
since  it  was  God's  appointment  made  him 

But  let  us  see,  hov    '      puts  his  ct  ea- 


tion  and    this  appointment   together.     By    the 

appointment  of  (rod,  says  Sir  Robert,  as  soon 
as  Adam  was  created,  lie  teas  monarch  of  the 
world,  though  he  had  no  subjects ;  for  though 
there  could  not  be  actual  government  till  there 
were  subjects,  yet  by  (he  right  of  nature  it  was 
due  to  Adam  to  be  governor  of  his  posterity: 
though  not  in  act,  yet  at  least  in  habit,  Adam 
was  a  king  from  his  creation.  I  wish  lie  had 
told  us  here,  what  he  meant  by  God's  appoint- 
ment :  for  whatsoever  providence  orders,  or 
the  law  of  nature  directs,  or  positive  revelation 
declares,  may  be  said  to  he  by  God's  appoint- 
ment :  but  I  suppose  it  cannot  be  meant  here 
in  the  first  sense,  i.  e.  by  providence  ;  because 
that  would  be  to  say  no  more,  but  that  as  soon 
as  Adam  was  created  he  was  dej'acto  monarch, 
because  by  right  of  nature  it  was  due  to  Adam, 
to  be  governor  of  his  posterity.  But  he  could 
not  de  facto  be  by  providence  constituted  the 
governor  of  the  world,  at  a  time  when  there  was 
actually  no  government,  no  subjects  to  be  go- 
verned, which  our  author  here  confesses. 
Monarch  of  the  world  is  also  differently  used 
by  our  author;  for  sometimes  he  means  by 
it  a  proprietor  of  all  the  world  exclusive  of 
the  rest  of  mankind,  and  thus  he  does  in  the 
same  page  of  his  preface  before  cited  :  Adam. 
says  he,  being  commanded  to  multiply  and  peo- 
ple the  earth,  and  to  subdue  it,  and  having 
dominion  given  him  over  all  creatures,  teas 
thereby  the   monarch  of  the   whole  world;  none 



of  his  posterity  had  any  right  to  possess  any  thing 
but  by  his  grant  or  permission,  or  by  succession 
from  him.  2.  Let  us  understand  then  by  mo- 
narch proprietor  of  the  world,  and  by  appoint- 
ment Gods  actual  donation,  and  revealed  posi- 
tive grant  made  to  Adam,  Gen.  i.  28.  as  we 
see  Sir  Robert  himself  does  in  this  parallel 
place,  and  then  his  argument  will  stand  thus  : 
by  the  positive  grant  of  God,  as  soon  as  Adam 
was  created,  he  teas  proprietor  of  the  world, 
because  by  the  right  of  nature  it  was  due  to 
Adam  to  be  governor  of  his  posterity.  In  which 
way  of  arguing  there  are  two  manifest  false- 
hoods. First,  It  is  false,  that  God  made  that 
grant  to  Adam,  as  soon  as  he  was  created, 
since,  though  it  stands  in  the  text  immediately 
after  his  creation,  yet  it  is  plain  it  could  not 
be  spoken  to  Adam,  till  after  Eve  was  made 
and  brought  to  him  :  and  how  then  could  he 
be  monarch  by  appoint ment  as  soon  as  created, 
especially  since  he  calls,  if  I  mistake  not,  that 
which  God  says  to  Eve,  Gen.  iii.  16,  the  ori- 
ginal grant  of  government,  which  not  being  till 
after  the  fall,  when  Adam  was  somewhat,  at 
least  in  time,  and  very  much  distant  in  con- 
dition, from  his  creation,  I  cannot  see,  how  our 
author  can  say  in  this  sense,  that  by  God's  ap- 
pointment, as  soon  as  Adam  ivas  created,  he 
was  monarch  of  the  world.  Secondly,  were  it 
true  that  God's  actual  donation  appointed  Adam 
monarch  of  the  world  as  soon  as  he  icas  created, 
yet  the  reason  here  given  for  it,  would  not  prove 


ii ;  but  it  would  always  be  a  false  inference, 
that  God,  by  a  positive  donation,  appointed 
Adam  monarch  of  the  world,  because  by  right 
of  nature  it  was  due  to  Adam  to  be  governor  of 
his  posterity :  for  having  given  him  the  right 
of  government  by  nature,  there  was  no  need 
of  a  positive  donation ;  at  least  it  will  never  be 
a  proof  of  such  a  donation. 

§.  17.  On  the  other  side  the  matter  will  not 
be  much  mended,  if  we  understand  by  God's 
appointment  the  law  of  nature,  (though  it  be  a 
pretty  harsh  expression  for  it  in  this  place)  and 
by  monarch  of  the  ivorld,  sovereign  ruler  of 
mankind :  for  then  the  sentence  under  consi- 
deration must  run  thus  :  By  the  law  of  nature, 
as  soon  as  Adam  was  created  he  was  governor 
of  mankind,  for  by  right  of  nature  it  was  due  to 
Adam  to  be  governor  of  his  posterity ;  which 
amounts  to  this,  he  was  governor  by  right  of 
nature,  because  he  was  governor  by  right  of 
nature:  but  supposing  we  should  grant,  that 
a  man  is  by  nature  governor  of  his  children, 
Adam  could  not  hereby  be  a  monarch  as  soon 
as  created :  for  this  right  of  nature  being  found- 
ed in  his  being  their  father,  how  Adam  could 
have  a  natural  right  to  be  governor,  before  he 
was  a  father,  when  by  being  a  father  only  he 
had  that  right,  is  methinks,  hard  to  conceive, 
unless  he  will  have  him  to  be  a  father  before 
lie  was  a  father,  and  to  have  a  title  before  he 
had  it. 

<§.   18.  To  this  foreseen  objection,  our  author 
c  2 


answers  very  logically,  he  was  governor  in 
habit,  and  not  in  act:  a  very  pretty  way  of 
beins*  a  Governor  without  government,  a  father 
without  children,  and  a  king  without  subjects. 
And  thus  Sir  Robert  was  an  author  before  he 
writ  his  book ;  not  in  act,  it  is  true,  but  in 
habit;  for  when  he  had  once  published  it,  it 
was  due  to  him  by  the  right  of  nature,  to  be 
an  author,  as  much  as  it  was  to  Adam  to  be 
governor  of  his  children,  when  he  had  begot 
them  :  and  if  to  be  such  a  monarch  of  the  world, 
an  absolute  monarch  in  habit,  but  not  in  act, 
will  serve  the  turn,  I  should  not  much  envy 
it  to  any  of  Sir  Robert's  friends,  that  he 
thought  fit  graciously  to  bestow  it  upon,  though 
even  this  of  acrand  habit,  if  it  signified  any 
thing  but  our  author's  skill  in  distinctions, 
be  not  to  his  purpose  in  this  place.  For  the 
question  is  not  here  about  Adams  actual  ex- 
ercise of  government,  but  actually  having  a 
title  to  be  governor.  Government,  says  our 
author,  was  due  to  Adam  by  the  right  of  na- 
ture: what  is  this  right  of  nature?  A  right 
fathers  have  over  their  children  by  begetting 
them ;  gcneratione  jus  acquiritur  parentibus 
in  liberos,  says  our  author  out  of  Grotius, 
Observations,  '223.  The  right  then  follows 
the  begetting  as  arising  from  it ;  so  that,  ac- 
cording  to  this  way  of  reasoning  or  distin- 
guishing of  our  author,  Adam,  as  soon  as  he 
was  created,  had  a  title  only  in  habit,  and  not 
in  act,  which  in  plain  English  is,  he  had  ac- 
tually no  title  at  all. 


i:   19.  To  speak  less   learnedly,   and    more 
intelligibly,  one  may  say  of  Adam,  he  was  in  a 
possibility    of"  being-    governor,    since    it     was 
possible  lie  might  beget  children,  and  thereby 
acquire  that  right  of  nature,  be  it  what  it  will, 
to  govern  them,  that  accrues  from  thence  :  but 
what  connection  has  this  with  Adams  creation, 
to  make  him  say,  that,  as  soon  as  he  was  created, 
he  was  monarch  of  the  world1,  for  it  may  be  as 
well  said  of  Noah,  that  as  soon  as  he  was  born, 
he  was  monarch  of  the  world,  since  he  was  in 
possibility  (which    in    our    author's    sense    is 
enough    to    make    a   monarch,    a   monarch  in 
habit,)    to    outlive    all   mankind,   but   his  own 
posterity.     What    such    necessary     connexion 
there  is   betwixt  Adams  creation  and  his  right 
to  government,  so  that  a  natural  freedom  of  man- 
kind cannot  be  supposed  without  the  denial  of 
the  creation  of  Adam,  1  confess  for  my  part  I 
do  not  see;    nor  how  those   words,  by  the  ap- 
pointment,  cj'c.     Observations,     25  J.     however 
explained,  can  be  put  together,  to  make  any 
tolerable  sense,    at  least  to   establish  this  posi- 
tion,  with  which  they  end,  viz.    Adam   was  a 
king  from  his  creation;  a  king,  says  our  author, 
not   in  act  but  in   habit,   i.  c  actually  no  king 
at  all. 

§.  20.  I  fear  T  have  tired  my  reader's  pa- 
tience, by  dwelling  longer  on  this  passage,  than 
the  weightiness  of  any  argument  in  it  seems 
to  require;  but  I  have  unavoidably  been 
engaged  in  it  by  our  author's  way  of  writing, 


•who,  huddling  several   suppositions  together, 
and  that  in  doubtful  and  general  terms,  makes 
such  a  medley  and  confusion,  that  it  is  impos- 
sible to  shew  his  mistakes,  without  examining 
the  several  senses  wherein  his  words  may  be 
taken,  and  without  seeing  how,  in  any  of  these 
various  meanings,   they  will  consist  together, 
and  have  any  truth  in  them  :  for  in  this  present 
passage   before  us,   how    can   any   one    argue 
against  this  position  of  his,  that  Adam  teas  a 
king  from   his   creation,    unless   one  examine, 
whether  the  words,  from  his   creation,   be  to 
be  taken,   as  they   may,   for   the   time   of  the 
commencement  of  his  government,  as  the  fore- 
going words  import,  as  soon  as  he  was  created 
he  ivas  monarch ;  or,  for  the  cause  of  it,  as  he 
says,  p.    11.   creation  made  man  prince  of  his 
posterity  ?  how   farther  can  one  judge  of  the 
truth  of  his  being  thus  king,  till    one  has  exa- 
mined whether    king  be   to    be  taken,    as  the 
words  in   the  beginning  of  this  passage  would 
persuade,    on  supposition    of    his  private   do- 
minion, which   was,    by  Gods  positive  grant, 
monarch  of  the  world  by  appointment ;  or  king 
on  supposition  of  his  fatherly  power  over  his 
offspring,  which  was  by  nature,  due  by  the  right 
of  nature ;  whether,  I  say,  king  be  to  be  taken 
in  both,  or  one  only  of  these  two  senses,  or  in 
neither  of  them,   but  only  this,   that  creation 
made  him  prince,  in  a  way  different  from  both 
the    other?    For    though    this    assertion,    that 
Adam  was  king  from  his  creation,  be  due  in  no 


sense,  yet  it  stands  here  as  an  evident  conclu- 
sion drawn  from  the  preceding-  words,  though 
in  truth  it  he  but  a  bare  assertion  joined  to 
other  assertions  of  the  same  kind,  which  confi- 
dently put  together  in  words  of  undetermined 
and  dubious  meaning-,  look  like  a  sort  of 
arguing,  when  there  is  indeed  neither  proof  nor 
connection:  a  way  very  familiar  with  our 
author:  of  which  having  given  the  reader  a 
taste  here,  I  shall,  as  much  as  the  argument 
will  permit  me,  avoid  touching  on  hereafter; 
and  should  not  have  done  it  here,  were  it  not 
to  let  the  world  see,  how  incoherences  in 
matter,  and  suppositions  without  proofs  put 
handsomely  together  in  good  words  and  a 
plausible  stile,  are  apt  to  pass  for  strong-  reason 
and  good  sense,  till  they  come  to  be  looked 
into  with  attention. 


Of  Adam's  Title   to  Sovereignty  by  Donation, 
Gen.  i.  28. 

§.  21.  Having  at  last  got  through  the  fore- 
going passage,  where  we  have  been  so  long- 
detained,  not  bv  the  force  of  arguments  and 
opposition,  but  by  the  intricacy  of  the  words, 
and  the  doubtfulness  of  the  meaning ;  let  us 
go  on  to  his  next  argument  for  Adam's  sove- 
reignty. Our  author  tells  us  in  the  words  of 
Mr.  Selaen,  that  ^idam  hy  donation  from  God, 


Gen.  i.  28.  was  made  the  general  lord  of  all 
things,  not  without  such  a  private  dominion  to 
himself,  as  without  his  grant  did  exclude  his 
children.  This  determination  of  Mr.  Selden, 
says  our  author,  is  consonant  to  the  history  of 
the  Bible,  and  natural  reason,  Observations 
210.  And  in  his  Pref.  to  his  Observations  on 
Aristotle,  he  says  thus,  The  first  government 
in  the  ivorld  was  monarchial  in  the  father  of 
all  flesh,  Adam  being  commanded  to  people  and 
multiply  the  earth,  and  to  subdue  it,  and  having 
dominion  given  him  over  all  creatures,  was 
thereby  the  monarch  of  the  whole  world:  none 
of  his  posterity  had  any  right  to  possess  any 
thing,  but  by  his  grant  or  permission,  or  by 
succession  from  him:  The  earth,  saith  the 
Psalmist,  hath  he  given  to  the  children  of  men, 
which  shew  the  title  comes  from  fatherhood , 

§.  22.  Before  I  examine  this  argument,  and 
the  text  on  which  it  is  founded,  it  is  necessary 
to  desire  the  reader  to  observe,  that  our  au- 
thor, according  to  his  usual  method,  begins 
in  one  sense,  and  concludes  in  another;  he 
begins  here  with  Adam's  propriety,  or  private 
dominion,  by  donation;  and  his  conclusion  is, 
which  shew  the  title  comes  from  fatherhood. 

§.  23.  But  let  us  see  the  argument.  The 
words  of  the  text  are  these  :  and  God  blessed 
them,  and  God  said  unto  them,  be  fruitful  and 
multiply,  toid  replenish  the  earth  and  subdue  it, 
and  have  dominion  over  the  Jish  of  the  sea,  and 
over  the  fowl  of  the  air,  and  over  every  living 

Ol     GOVERNMENT.  25 

thing'  that  moveth  on  the  earth,  Gen.  i.  *28.  from 
whence    our    author   concludes,    that     Adam, 
having  here  dominion  given  him  over  all  crea- 
tures, ivas   therehy   the  monarch  of  the    whole 
world:    whereby    must  he    meant,    that    either 
this  grant  of  God  gave  Adam  property,  or  as 
our  author   calls  it,  private  dominion  over  the 
earth,  and  all  inferior  or  irrational  creatures, 
and  so  consequently  that  he  was   thereby  mo- 
narch: or   2dly,  that   it   gave   him    rule     and 
dominion  over  all    earthly    creatures    whatso- 
ever,   and   thereby  over   his  children  ;  and  so 
he  was  monarch :  for,   as  Mr.  Selden  has  pro- 
perly worded  it,   Adam  was  made  general  lord 
of  all  things,  one  may  very  clearly  understand 
him,  that  he  means  nothing   to  be  granted  to 
Adam  here  but  property,  and  therefore  he  says 
not  one  word   of  Adams  monarchy .     J3ut  our 
author  says,  Adam  was  hereby  monarch  of  the 
world,  which,  properly  speaking,   signifies  so- 
vereign ruler  of  all  the  men  in  the  world ;  and 
so  Adam,  by  this   grant,    must  be  constituted 
such  a  ruler.     If  our  author  means  otherwise, 
he    might  with  much  clearness  have  said,  that 
Adam  was  hereby  proprietor  of  the  whole  world. 
But  he  begs  your  pardon   in  that   point:  clear 
distinct  speaking  not  serving  every  where   to 
his  purpose,   you  must  not  expect  it  in  him, 
as  in  Mr.  Selden,  or  other  such  writers. 

§.  24.  In  opposition  therefore  to  our  author's 
doctrine,  that  Adam  was  monarch  of  the  whole 
world,  founded  on  this  place,  I  shall  shew, 


1.  That  by  this  grant,  Gen.  i.  28.  God  gave 
no  immediate  power  to  Adam  over  men,  over 
his  children,  over  those  of  his  own  species; 
and  so  he  was  not  made  ruler,  or  monarch,  by 
this  charter. 

2.  That  by  this  grant  God  gave  him  not 
private  dominion  over  the  inferior  creatures, 
but  right  in  common  with  all  mankind ;  so 
neither  was  he  monarch,  upon  the  account  of 
the  property  here  given  him. 

§.  25.  That  this  donation,  Gen.  i.  28.  gave 
Adam  no  power  over  men,  will  appear  if  we 
consider  the  words  of  it :  for  since  all  positive 
grants  convey  no  more  than  the  express  words 
they  are  made  in  will  carry,  let  us  see  which 
of  them  here  will  comprehend  mankind,  or 
Adam's  posterity;  and  those,  I  imagine,  if  any, 
must  be  these,  evert/  living  thing  thai  moveth  : 
the  words  in  Hebrew  are  rwftin  nvr  i.e.  JSes- 
tiam  Repfanlem,  of  which  words  the  scripture 
itself  is  the  best  interpreter:  God  having  created 
the  fishes  and  fouls  the  fifth  day,  the  beginning 
of  the  sixth  he  creates  the  irrational  inhabitants 
of  the  dry  land,  which,  v.  24.  are  described  in 
these  words,  let  the  earth  bring  forth  the  living 
creature  after  his  hind;  cattle  and  creeping 
things,  and  beasts  of  the  earth,  after  his  kind. 
v.  2.  And  God  made  the  beasts  of  the  earth 
after  his  hind,  and  cattle  after  their  hind,  and 
every  tiling  that  creepeth  on  the  earth  after  his 
hind:  here,  in  the  creation  of  the  brute  inhabi- 
tants of  the  earth,   he   first  speaks  of  them  all 


under  one  general  name,  of  living  creatures, 
and  then  afterwards  divides  them  into  three 
ranks,  1.  Cattle,  or  such  creatures  as  were  or 
might  be  tame,  and  so  be  the  private  posses- 
sion of  particular  men  ;  2.  nvr  which,  vcr.  24 
and  25.  in  our  Bible,  is  translated  beasts,  and 
by  the  Sepluagint  6>]pia,  ivild  beasts,  and  is  the 
same  word,  that  here  in  our  text,  ver.  28. 
where  we  have  this  great  charter  to  Adam,  is 
translated  living  thins-  and  is  also  the  same 
word  used,  Gen.  ix.  2.  where  this  grant  is 
renewed  to  Noah,  and  there  likewise  transla- 
ted beast.  5.  The  third  rank  were  the  creeping 
animals,  which  ver.  24  and  25.  are  comprised 
under  the  word  JittfDTr,  the  same  that  is  used 
here,  ver.  28.  and  is  translated  moving,  but  in 
the  former  verses  creeping,  and  by  the  Seplua- 
gint in  all  these  places,  ip-ire-fr,  or  reptiles  ;  from 
whence  it  appears,  that  the  words  which  we 
translate  here  in  God's  donation,  ver  28.  living 
creatures  moving,  are  the  same,  Which  in  the 
history  of  the  creation,  ver.  24,  25.  signify  two 
ranks  of  terrestrial  creatures,  viz.  wild  beasts 
and  reptiles,  and  are  so  understood  by  the 
Septuagint . 

§.  26.  When  God  had  made  the  irrational 
animals  of  the  world,  divided  into  three  kinds, 
from  the  places  of  their  habitation,  viz.  Jishcs 
of  the  sea,  fowls  of  the  air,  and  living  creatures 
of  the  earth,  and  these  again  into  cattle,  wild 
beasts,  and  reptiles,  he  considers  of  making 
man,  and   the   dominion  lie  should  ha\e   over 


the  terrestrial  world,  ver.  26.  and  then  he 
reckons  up  the  inhabitants  of  these  three  king- 
doms, but  in  the  terrestrial  leaves  out  the  second 
rank  nrr  or  wild  beasts :  but  here,  ver.  28. 
where  he  actually  exercises  this  design,  and 
gives  him  this  dominion,  the  text  mentions  the 
fishes  of  the  sea,  and  fowls  of  the  air,  and  the 
terrestrial  creatures  in  the  words  that  signify  the 
wild  beasts  and  reptiles,  though  translated 
living  thing  that  movelh,  leaving  out  cattle. 
In  both  which  places,  though  the  word  that 
signifies  wild  beasts  be  omitted  in  one,  and 
that  which  signifies  cattle  in  the  other,  yet, 
since  God  certainly  executed  in  one  place, 
what  he  declares  he  designed  in  the  other,  we 
cannot  but  understand  the  same  in  both  places, 
and  have  here  only  an  account,  how  the  ter- 
restrial irrational  animals,  which  were  already 
created  and  reckoned  up  at  their  creation,  in 
three  distinct  ranks  of  cattle,  wild  beasts,  and 
reptiles,  were  here,  ver.  28.  actually  put  under 
the  dominion  of  man,  as  they  were  designed 
ver.  26.  nor  do  these  words  contain  in  them 
the  least  appearance  of  any  thing  that  can  be 
wrested  to  signify  Gods  giving  to  one  man 
dominion  over  another,  to  Adam  over  his 

*.  27.  And   this   further  appears  from   Gen. 

ix.  2.  where  God  renewing  this  charter  to  ISoah 

and  his  sous,  he  gives  them  dominion  over  the 

fouls  of  the  air,  and  the  fishes  of  the  sea,  and  the 

terrestrial  creatures,  expressed  by  rvn  and  t^DTT 


wild  beasts  and  reptiles,  the  same  words  that 
in  the  text  before  us,  Gen.  i.  28.  are  translated 
every  moving  thing,  that  moveth  on  the  earth, 
which  by  no  means  can  comprehend  man,  the 
grant  being  made  to  Noah  and  his  sons,  all  the 
men  then  living-,  and  not  to  one  part  of  men 
over  another :    which  is  yet  more  evident  from 
the  very  next  words,  ver.  3.  where  God  gives 
every  W21  every  moving  thing,  the  very  words 
used,  ch.  i.  28.  to  them  for  food.      By  all  which 
it  is  plain  that  God's  donation  to  Adam,  ch.  i. 
28.  and  his  designation,  ver.  26.  and  his  grant 
again  to   Noah  and  his  sons,  refer  to  and  con- 
tain in  them  neither  more   nor  less   than  the 
works  of  the  creation  the  fifth  day,  and  the 
beginning  of  the   sixth,   as  they  are  set  down 
from  the  20th  to  the  26th  ver.  inclusively  of 
the  1st  chap,  and  so  comprehend  all  the  species 
of  irrational  animals  of  the  terraqueous  globe, 
though  all  the   words,   whereby  they  are  ex- 
pressed in  the  history  of  their  creation,  are  no 
where  used  in  any  of  the  following  grants,  but 
some  of  them   omitted    in  one,  and   some  in 
another.     From  whence  I  think  it  is  past  all 
doubt,  that  man  cannot  be  comprehended  in 
this  grant,  nor  any  dominion  over  those  of  his 
own  species  be  conveyed   to  Adam.     All  the 
terrestrial  irrational  creatures  are  enumerated 
at   their  creation,    ver.   25.    under   the    names 
beasts  of  the  earth,  cattle  and  creeping  things ; 
but  man  being  not  then  created,  was  not  con- 
tained  under  any  of  those  names ;  and  there- 


fore,  whether  we  understand  the  Hebrew 
words  right  or  uo,  they  cannot  be  supposed  to 
comprehend  man,  in  the  very  same  history,  and 
the  very  next  verses  following,  especially  since 
that  Hebrew  word  ttfS")  which,  if  any  in  this 
donation  to  Adam,  ch.  i.  28.  must  comprehend 
man,  is  so  plainly  used  in  contradistinction  to 
him,  as  Gen.  vi.  20.  vii.  14,21,  23.  Gen.  viii.  17, 
19.  And  if  God  made  all  mankind  slaves  to 
Adam  and  his  heirs,  by  giving  Adam  dominion 
over  every  living  thing  that  movelhon  the  earth, 
ch.  i.  28.  as  our  author  would  have  it,  methinks 
Sir  Robert  should  have  carried  his  monarchial 
power  one  step  higher,  and  satisfied  the  world, 
that  princes  might  eat  their  subjects  too,  since 
God  gave  as  full  power  to  Noah  and  his  heirs, 
ch.  ix.  2.  to  eat  every  living  tiling  that  move/ A, 
us  he  did  to  Adam  to  have  dominion  over 
them,  the  Hebrew  words  in  both  places  being 
the  same. 

§.  28.  David,  who  might  be  supposed  to 
understand  the  donation  of  God  in  this  text, 
and  the  right  of  kings  too,  as  well  as  our 
author  in  his  comment  on  this  place,  as  the 
learned  and  judicious  Ainsivorth  calls  it,  in  the 
8th  Psalm,  finds  here  uo  such  charter  of  mo- 
narchial power  :  his  words  are,  Thou  hast  made 
him,  i.  e.  man,  the  son  of  man,  a  little  lower 
than  the  angels;  thou  modest  him  to  have 
dominion  over  the  works  of  thy  hands ;  thou  hast 
put  all  things  under  his  feel,  all  sheep  and  oxen, 
and  the  beasts  of  the  field,  and  the  fowls  of  the 


air,  and  fish  of  the  sea,  and  whatsoever  passeth 
through  the  paths  of  the  sea.  In  which  words, 
if  any  one  can  find  out,  that  there  is  meant  any 
monarchial  power  of  one  man  over  another,  but 
only  the  dominion  of  the  whole  species  of 
mankind,  over  the  inferior  species  of  creatures, 
he  may,  for  aught  I  know,  deserve  to  be  one  of 
Sir  Robert's  monarch s  in  habit,  for  the  rareness 
of  the  discovery.  And  by  this  time,  I  hope  it 
is  evident,  that  he  that  gave  dominion  over  every 
living  thing  that  moveth  on  the  earth,  gave 
Adam  no  monarchial  power  over  those  of  his 
own  species,  which  will  yet  appear  more  fully 
in  the  next  thing  I  am  to  shew. 

§.  29.  2.  Whatever  God  gave  by  the  words 
of  this  grant,  Gen.  i.  28.  it  was  not  to  Adam 
in  particular,  exclusive  of  all  other  men  :  what- 
ever dominion  he  had  thereby,  it  was  not  a 
private  dominion,  but  a  dominion  in  common 
with  the  rest  of  mankind.  That  this  donation 
was  not  made  in  particular  to  Adam,  appears 
evidently  from  the  words  of  the  text,  it  being 
made  to  more  than  one;  for  it  was  spoken  in 
the  plural  number,  God  blessed  them,  and  said 
unto  them,  Have  dominion.  God  says  unto 
Adam  and  Eve,  Have  dominion  ;  thereby,  says 
our  author,  Adam  was  monarch  of  the  world : 
but  the  grant  being  to  them,  i.  e.  spoke  to  Eve 
also,  as  many  interpreters  think  with  reason, 
that  these  words  were  not  spoken  till  Adam 
had  his  wife,  must  not  she  thereby  be  lady,  as 
Mill  as  he  lord  of  the  world?   If  it  be  said,  thai 


Eve  was  subjected  to  Adam,  it  seems  she  was 
not  so  subjected  to  him,  as  to  binder  her  do- 
minion over  the  creatures,  or  property  in  them: 
for  shall  we  say  that  God  ever  made  a  joint 
grant  to  two,  and  one  only  was  to  have  the 
benefit  of  it  I 

§.  30.  But  perhaps  it  will  be  said,  Eve  was 
not  made  till  afterward  :  grant  it  so,  what  ad- 
vantage will  our  author  get  by  it?  The  text  will 
be  only  the  more  directly  against  him,  and  shew 
that  God,  in  this  donation,  gave  the  world  to 
mankind  in  common,  and  not  to  Adam  in  parti- 
cular. The  word  them  in  the  text  must  include 
the  species  of  man,  for  it  is  certain  them  can  by 
no  means  signify  Adam  alone.  In  the  26th 
verse,  where  God  declares  his  intention  to  give 
this  dominion,  it  is  plain  he  meant,  that  he 
would  make  a  species  of  creatures,  that  should 
have  dominion  over  the  other  species  of  this 
terrestrial  globe  :  the  words  are,  And  God  said, 
Let  ns  make  man  in  our  image,  after  our  like- 
ness, and  let  them  have  dominion  over  the  Jish, 
<§c.  They  then  were  to  have  dominion.  Who? 
even  those  who  were  to  have  the  image  of  God, 
the  individuals  of  that  species  of  man,  that 
he  was  going  to  make;  for  that  them  should 
signify  Adam  singly,  exclusive  of  the  rest  that 
should  be  in  the  world  with  him,  is  against 
both  scripture  and  all  reason:  and  it  cannot 
possibly  be  made  sense,  if  man  in  the  former 
part  of  the  verse  do  not  signify  the  same  with 
them  in  the  latter ;  only  man  there,  as  is  usual, 


is  taken  for  the  species,  and  them  the  indivi- 
duals of  that  species:  and  we  have  a  reason 
in  the  very  text.  God  makes  him  in  his  own 
image,  after  his  own  likeness;  makes  him  an 
intellectual  creature,  and  so  capable  of  do- 
minion: for  whereinsoever  else  the  image  of 
God  consisted,  the  intellectual  nature  was 
certainly  a  part  of  it,  and  belonged  to  the  whole 
species,  and  enabled  them  to  have  dominion 
over  the  inferior  creatures ;  and  therefore  David 
says  in  the  8th  Psalm  above  cited,  Thou  hast 
made  him  little  lower  than  the  angels,  thou  hast 
made  him  to  have  dominion.  It  is  not  of  Adam 
king'  David  speaks  here,  for  verse  4.  it  is  plain, 
it  is  of  man,  and  the  son  of  man,  of  the  species 
of  mankind. 

§.31.  And  that  this  grant  spoken  to  Adam 
was  made  to  him,  and  the  whole  species  of 
man,  is  clear  from  our  author's  own  proof  out 
of  the  Psalmist.  The  earth,  saith  the  Psalmist, 
hath  he  given  to  the  children  of  men;  which 
shews  the  title  comes  from  fatherhood.  These 
are  Sir  Roberfs  words  in  the  preface  before 
cited,  and  a  strange  inference  it  is  he  makes  ; 
God  hath  given  the  earth  to  the  children  of  men, 
ergo  the  title  comes  from  fatherhood.  It  is  pity 
the  propriety  of  the  Hebrew  tongue  had  not 
used  fathers  of  men,  instead  of  children  of  men, 
to  express  mankind,  then  indeed  our  author 
might  have  had  the  countenance  of  the  sound 
of  words,  to  have  placed  the  title  in  the  father- 
hood.     But  to  conclude,   that  the  fatherhood 



had  the  right  to  the  earth,  because  God  gave  it 
to  the  children  of  men,  is  a  way  of  arguing 
peculiar  to  our  author :  and  a  man  must  have 
a  great  mind  to  go  contrary  to  the  sound  as 
well  as  the  sense  of  the  words  before  he  could 
light  on  it.  But  the  sense  is  yet  harder, 
and  more  remote  from  our  author's  purpose : 
for  as  it  stands  in  his  preface,  it  is  to  prove 
Adam's  being  monarch,  and  his  reasoning  is 
thus,  God  gave  the  earth  to  the  children  of  men, 
ergo  Adam  was  monarch  of  the  world.  I  defy 
any  man  to  make  a  more  pleasant  conclusion 
than  this,  which  cannot  be  excused  from  the 
most  obvious  absurdity,  till  it  can  be  shewn, 
that  by  children  of  men,  he  who  had  no  father, 
Adam  alone  is  signified ;  but  whatever  our 
author  does,  the  scripture  speaks  not  nonsense. 

§.  32.  To  maintain  this  property  and  private 
dominion  of  Adam,  our  author  labours  in  the 
following  page  to  destroy  the  community  grant- 
ed to  Noah  and  his  sons,  in  that  parallel 
place,  Gen.  ix.  1,  2,  3,  and  he  endeavours  to 
do  it  two  ways. 

1 .  Sir  Robert  would  persuade  us  against  the 
express  words  of  the  scripture,  that  what  was 
here  granted  to  Noah,  was  not  granted  to  his 
sons  in  common  with  him.  His  words  are, 
As  for  the  general  community  betiveen  Noah  and 
his  sons,  which  Mr.  Selden  will  have  to  be 
granted  to  them,  Gen.  ix.  2.  the  text  doth  not 
warrant  it.  What  warrant  our  author  would 
have,  when  the  plain  express  words  of  scrip- 


tare,  not  capable  of  another  meaning,  will  not 
satisfy  him,  who  pretends  to  build  wholly  on 
scripture,  is  not  easy  to  imagine.  The  text 
says,  God  blessed  Noah  and  his  sons,  and  said 
unto  them,  i.  e.  as  our  author  would  have  it, 
unto  him:  for,  saith  he,  although  the  sons  are 
there  mentioned  with  Noah  in  the  blessing,  yet 
it  may  best  be  understood,  with  a  subordination 
or  benediction  in  succession,  Observations,  21  J. 
That  indeed  is  best,  for  our  author  to  be  under- 
stood, which  best  serves  to  his  purpose;  but 
that  truly  may  best  be  understood  by  any  body 
else,  which  best  agrees  with  the  plain  construc- 
tion of  the  words,  and  arises  from  the  obvious 
meaning  of  the  place  ;  and  then  with  subordi- 
nation and  in  succession,  will  not  be  best  under- 
stood, in  a  grant  of  God,  where  he  himself  put 
them  not,  nor  mentions  any  such  limitation. 
But  yet,  our  author  has  reasons,  why  it  may 
best  be  understood  so.  The  blessing,  says  he 
in  the  following  words,  might  truly  be  fidjilled, 
if  the  sons,  either  under  or  after  their  father, 
enjoyed  a  private  dominion,  Observations,  211. 
which  is  to  say,  that  a  grant,  whose  express 
words  give  a  joint  title  in  present  (for  the  text 
says,  into  your  hands  they  are  delivered)  may 
best  be  understood  with  a  subordination,  or 
in  succession;  because  it  is  possible,  that  in 
subordination,  or  in  succession,  it  may  be 
enjoyed.  Which  is  all  one  as  to  say,  that  a 
grant  of  any  thing  in  present  possession,  may 
best  be   understood  of  reversion  ;   because  it  is 

d  2 


possible  one  may  live  to  enjoy  it  in  reversion. 
Ifthe  grant  be  indeed  to  a  father  and  to  his 
sons  after  him,  who  is  so  kind  as  to  let  his 
children  enjoy  it  presently  in  common  with 
him,  one  may  truly  say,  as  to  the  event  one 
will  be  as  good  as  the  other ;  but  it  can  never 
be  true,  that  what  the  express  words  grant 
in  possession,  and  in  common,  may  best  be  un- 
derstood, to  be  in  reversion.  The  sum  of  all  his 
reasoning  amounts  to  this  :  God  did  not  give  to 
the  sons  of  Noah  the  world  in  common  with 
their  father,  because  it  was  possible  they  might 
enjoy  it  under,  or  after  him.  A  very  good 
sort  of  argument  against  an  express  text  of 
scripture :  but  God  must  not  be  believed, 
though  he  speaks  it  himself,  when  he  says  he 
does  any  thing,  which  will  not  consist  with  Sir 
Robert's  hypothesis. 

§.  33.  For  it  is  plain,  however  he  would  ex- 
clude them,  that  part  of  this  benediction,  as  he 
would  have  it  in  succession,  must  needs  be 
meant  to  the  sons,  and  not  to  Noah  himself 
at  all :  Be  fruitful,  and  multiply,  and  replenish 
the  earth,  says  God,  in  this  blessing.  This  part 
of  the  benediction,  as  appears  by  the  sequel, 
concerned  not  Noah  himself  at  all :  for  we 
read  not  of  any  children  he  had  after  the  flood  ; 
and  in  the  following  chapter,  where  his  posterity 
is  reckoned  up,  there  is  no  mention  of  any  ; 
and  so  this  benediction  in  succession  was  not 
to  take  place  till  350  years  after :  and  to  save 
our  author's  imaginary  monarchy,  the  peopling 


of  the  world  must  be  deferred  350  years  ;  for 
this  part  of  the  benediction  cannot  be  under- 
stood with  subordination,  unless  our  author 
will  say,  that  they  must  ask  leave  of  their  father 
Noah  to  lie  with  their  wives.  But  in  this  one 
point  our  author  is  constant  to  himself  in  all 
his  discourses,  he  takes  great  care  there  should 
be  monarchs  in  the  world,  but  very  little  that 
there  should  be  people;  and  indeed  his  way  of 
government  is  not  the  way  to  people  the 
world  :  for  how  much  absolute  monarchy  helps 
to  fulfil  this  great  and  primary  blessing  of  God 
Almighty,  Be  fruitful,  and  multiply,  and  re- 
plenish the  earth,  which  contains  in  it  the 
improvement  too  of  arts  and  sciences,  and  the 
conveniences  of  life,  may  be  seen  in  those  large 
and  rich  countries  which  are  happy  under  the 
Turkish  government,  where  are  not  now  to  be 
found  one  third,  nay,  in  many,  if  not  most 
parts  of  them  one  thirtieth,  perhaps  I  might 
say  not  one  hundredth  of  the  people,  that  were 
formerly,  as  will  easily  appear  to  any  one,  who 
will  compare  the  accounts  we  have  of  it  at  this 
time,  with  antient  history.  But  this  by  the  by. 
§.  34.  The  other  parts  of  this  benediction,  or 
grant,  are  so  expressed,  that  they  must  needs 
be  understood  to  belong  equally  to  them  all ; 
as  much  to  Noah's  sons  as  to  Noah  himself, 
and  not  to  his  sons  ivith  a  subordination,  or  in 
succession.  The  fear  of  you,  and  the  dread  of 
you,  says  God,  shall  be  upon  every  beast,  &c. 
Will  any  body   but  our  author  say,   that  the 


creatures  feared  and  stood  in  awe  of  Noah 
only,  and  not  of  his  sons  without  his  leave,  or 
till  after  his  death?  And  the  following  words, 
into  your  hands  they  are  delivered,  are  they  to 
be  understood  as  our  author  says,  if  your 
father  please,  or  they  shall  be  delivered  into 
your  hands  hereafter?  If  this  be  to  argue  from 
scripture,  I  know  not  what  may  not  be  proved 
by  it ;  and  I  can  scarce  see  how  much  this 
differs  from  that  fiction  and  fansie,  or  how 
much  a  surer  foundation  it  will  prove,  than 
the  opinions  of  philosophers  and  poets,  which 
our  author  so  much  condemns  in  his  preface. 

§.  35.  But  our  author  goes  on  to  prove,  that 
it  may  best  be  understood  with  a  subordination, 
or  a  benediction  in  succession ;  for,  says  he,  it  is 
not  probable  that  the  private  dominion  which 
God  gave  to  Adam,  and  by  his  donation,  assig- 
nation, or  cession  to  his  children,  teas  abrogated, 
and  a  community  of  all  things  instituted  between 

Noah  and  his  sons Noah  was  left  the  sole 

heir  of  the  world;  tvhy  shoidd  it  be  thought 
that  God  ivould  disinherit  him  of  his  birth- 
right, and  make  him  of  all  men  in  the  icorld 
the  only  tenant  in  common  with  his  children? 
Observations,  211. 

§.  36.  The  prejudices  of  our  own  ill-ground- 
ed opinions,  however  by  us  called  probable, 
cannot  authorise  us  to  understand  scripture 
contrary  to  the  direct  and  plain  meaning  of 
the  words.  1  grant,  it  is  not  probable,  that 
Adam's  )>rivale  dominion   was  here  abrogated: 

OF    GOVERNMENT.  ,*>■> 

because  it  is  more  than  probable,  (for  it  will 
never  be  proved)  that  ever  Adam  had  any  such 
private  dominion:  and  since  parallel  places  of 
scripture  are  most  probable  to  make  us  know 
how  they  may  be  best  understood,  there  needs 
but  the  comparing  this  blessing  here  to  Noah 
and  his  sons  after  the  flood,  with  that  to  Adam 
after  the  creation,  Gen.  i.  28.  to  assure  any  one 
that  God  gave  Adam  no  such  private  domi- 
nion. It  is  probable,  I  confess,  that  Noah 
should  have  the  same  title,  the  same  property 
and  dominion  after  the  flood,  that  Adam  had 
before  it :  but  since  private  dominion  cannot 
consist  with  the  blessing  and  grant  God  gave 
to  him  and  his  sons  in  common,  it  is  a  suffi- 
cient reason  to  conclude,  that  Adam  had  none, 
especially  since  in  the  donation  made  to  him, 
there  are  no  words  that  express  it,  or  do  in  the 
least  favour  it ;  and  then  let  my  reader  judge 
whether  it  may  best  be  understood,  when  in  the 
one  place  there  is  not  one  word  for  it,  not  to 
say  what  has  been  above  proved,  that  the  text 
itself  proves  the  contrary ;  and  in  the  other, 
the  words  and  sense  are  directly  against  it. 

§.  37.  But  our  author  says,  Noah  urns  the 
sole  heir  of  the  world  ;  why  should  it  be  thought 
that  God  tvoidd  disinherit  him  of  his  birth- 
right? Heir,  indeed,  in  England,  signifies  the 
eldest  son,  who  is  by  the  law  of  England  to 
have  all  his  father's  land ;  but  Avhere  God 
ever  appointed  any  such  heir  of  the  world, 
our    author   would    have    done    well   to  have 


shewed  us ;  and  how  God  disinherited  him  of 
his  birth-right,  or  what  harm  was  done  him  if 
God  gave  his  sons  a  right  to  make  use  of  a 
part  of  the  earth  for  the  support  of  themselves 
and  families,  when  the  whole  was  not  only 
more  than  Noah  himself,  but  infinitely  more 
than  they  all  could  make  use  of,  and  the  pos- 
sessions of  one  could  not  at  all  prejudice,  or, 
as  to  any  use,  streighten  that  of  the  other. 

§.  38.  Our  author  probably  foreseeing  he 
might  not  be  very  successful  in  persuading 
people  out  of  their  senses,  and,  say  what  he 
could,  men  would  be  apt  to  believe  the  plain 
words  of  scripture,  and  think,  as  they  saw, 
that  the  grant  was  spoken  to  Noah  and  his 
sons  jointly;  he  endeavours  to  insinuate,  as 
if  this  grant  to  Noah  conveyed  no  property, 
no  dominion  ;  because,  subduing  the  earth  and 
dominion  over  the  creatures  are  therein  omit- 
ted, nor  the  earth  once  named.  And  therefore, 
says  he,  there  is  a  considerable  difference  be- 
tween these  two  texts ;  the  first  blessing  gave 
Adam  a  dominion  over  the  earth  and  all  crea- 
tures; the  latter  allows  Noah  liberty  to  use  the 
living  creatures  for  food:  here  is  no  alteration 
or  diminishing  of  his  title  to  a  property  of  all 
things,  but  an  enlargement  only  of  his  com- 
mons, Observations,  211.  So  that  in  our 
author's  sense,  all  that  was  said  here  to  Noah 
and  his  sons,  gave  them  no  dominion,  no  pro- 
perty, but  only  enlarged  the  commons;  their 
commons,  I  should  say,  since  God  says,  to  you 


are  they  given,  though  our  author  says  his ;  for 
as  for  Noah's  sons,  they,  it  seems,  by  Sir  Ro- 
bert's appointment,  during-  their  father's  life- 
time, were  to  keep  fasting  days. 

§.  39.  Any  one  but  our  author  would  be 
mightily  suspected  to  be  blinded  with  preju- 
dice, that  in  all  this  blessing  to  Noah  and  his 
sons,  could  see  nothing  but  only  an  enlarge- 
ment of  commons  :  for  as  to  dominion  which 
our  author  thinks  omitted,  the  fear  of  you,  and 
the  dread  of  you,  says  God,  shall  be  upon  every 
beast,  which  I  suppose  expresses  the  dominion^ 
or  superiority  was  designed  man  over  the 
living  creatures,  as  fully  as  may  be ;  for  in  that 
fear  and  dread  seems  chiefly  to  consist  what 
was  given  to  Adam  over  the  inferior  animals ; 
who,  as  absolute  a  monarch  as  he  was,  could 
not  make  bold  with  a  lark  or  rabbet  to  satisfy 
his  hunger,  and  had  the  herbs  but  in  common 
with  the  beasts,  as  is  plain  from  Gen.  i.  2,  9, 
and  30.  In  the  next  place,  it  is  manifest  that 
in  this  blessing  to  Noah  and  his  sons,  property 
is  not  only  given  in  clear  words,  but  in  a 
larger  extent  than  it  was  to  Adam.  Into  your 
hands  they  are  given,  says  God  to  Noah  and 
his  sons ;  which  words,  if  they  give  not  pro- 
perty, nay,  property  in  possession,  it  will  be 
hard  to  find  words  that  can;  since  there  is  not 
a  way  to  express  a  man's  being  possessed  of 
any  thing  more  natural,  nor  more  certain,  than 
to  say,  it  is  delivered  into  his  hands.  And 
ver.  3.  to  shew,  that  they  had  then  given  them 


the  utmost  property  man  is  capable  of,  which 
is  to  have  a  right  to  destroy  any  thing  by 
using  it ;  Every  moving  thing  that  liveth,  saith 
God,  shall  be  meat  for  you;  which  was  not  al- 
lowed to  Adam  in  his  charter.  This  our  au- 
thor calls  a  liberty  of  using  them  for  food,  and 
only  an  enlargement  of  commons,  but  no  altera- 
tion of  property,  Observations,  21 1.  What  other 
property  man  can  have  in  the  creatures,  but  the 
liberty  of  using  them,  is  hard  to  be  understood  : 
so  that  if  the  first  blessing,  as  our  author  says, 
gave  Adam  dominion  over  the  creatures,  and 
the  blessing  to  Noah  and  his  sons,  gave  them 
such  a  liberty  to  use  them,  as  Adam  had  not; 
it  must  needs  give  them  something  that  Adam 
with  all  his  sovereignty  wanted,  something  that 
one  would  be  apt  to  take  for  a  greater  proper- 
ty ;  for  certainly  he  has  no  absolute  dominion 
over  even  the  brutal  part  of  the  creatures  ;  and 
the  property  he  has  in  them  is  very  narrow  and 
scanty,  who  cannot  make  that  use  of  them, 
which  is  permitted  to  another.  Should  any 
one  who  is  absolute  lord  of  a  country,  have 
bidden  our  author  subdue  the  earth,  and  given 
him  dominion  over  the  creatures  in  it,  but  not 
have  permitted  him  to  have  taken  a  kid  or  a 
lamb  out  of  the  flock,  to  satisfy  his  hunger, 
I  guess,  he  would  scarce  have  thought  him- 
self lord  or  proprietor  of  that  land,  or  the 
cattle  on  it;  but  would  have  found  the  dif- 
ference between  having  dominion,  which  a 
shepherd  may  have,   and  having  full  property 


as  an  owner.  So  that,  had  it  been  his  own 
case,  Sir  Robert,  I  believe,  would  have  thought 
here  was  an  alteration,  nay,  an  enlarging  of 
property ;  and  that  Noah  and  his  children  had 
by  this  grant,  not  only  property  given  them, 
but  such  a  property  given  them  in  the  crea- 
tures, as  Adam  had  not :  for  however,  in  re- 
spect of  one  another,  men  may  be  allowed 
to  have  propriety  in  their  distinct  portions  of 
the  creatures ;  yet  in  respect  of  God  the  maker 
of  heaven  and  earth,  who  is  sole  lord  and  pro- 
prietor of  the  whole  world,  man's  propriety 
in  the  creatures  is  nothing  but  that  liberty  to 
use  them,  which  God  has  permitted ;  and  so 
man's  property  may  be  altered  and  enlarged, 
as  we  see  it  was  here,  after  the  flood,  when 
other  uses  of  them  are  allowed,  which  before 
were  not.  From  all  which  1  suppose  it  is 
clear,  that  neither  Adam,  nor  Noah,  had  any 
private  dominion,  any  property  in  the  crea- 
tures, exclusive  of  his  posterity,  as  they  should 
successively  grow  up  into  need  of  them,  and 
come  to  be  able  to  make  use  of  them. 

§.  40.  Thus  we  have  examined  our  author's 
argument  for  Adams  monarchy,  founded  on 
the  blessing  pronounced,  Gen.  i.  28.  wherein  I 
think  it  is  impossible  for  any  sober  reader,  to 
find  any  other  but  the  setting  of  mankind 
above  the  other  kinds  of  creatures,  in  this 
habitable  earth  of  ours.  It  is  nothing  but  the 
giving  lo  man,  the  whole  species  of  man,  as 
the  chief  inhabitant,  who  is  the  image  of  hi^ 


maker,  the  dominion  over  the  other  creatures. 
This  lies  so  obvious  in  the  plain  words,  that 
any  one,  but  our  author,  would  have  thought  it 
necessary  to  have  shewn,  how  these  words, 
that  seemed  to  say  quite  the  contrary,  gave 
Adam  monarchial  absolute  power  over  other  men, 
or  the  sole  property  in  all  the  creatures ;  and 
methinks  in  a  business  of  this  moment,  and 
that  whereon  he  builds  all  that  follows,  he 
should  have  done  something*  more  than  barely 
cite  words,  which  apparently  make  against 
him  ;  for  I  confess,  I  cannot  see  any  thing  in 
them,  tending  to  Adams  monarchy,  or  private 
dominion,  but  quite  the  contrary.  And  I  the 
less  deplore  the  dulness  of  my  apprehension 
herein,  since  I  find  the  apostle  seems  to  have 
as  little  notion  of  any  such  private  dominion  of 
Adam  as  1,  when  he  says,  God  gives  ns  all  things 
richly  to  enjoy,  which  he  could  not  do,  if  it  were 
all  given  away  already,  to  monarch  Adam,  and 
the  monarchs  his  heirs  and  successors.  To 
conclude,  this  text  is  so  far  from  proving  Adam 
sole  proprietor,  that,  on  the  contrary,  it  is  a 
confirmation  of  the  original  community  of  all 
things  amongst  the  sons  of  men,  which  appear- 
ing from  this  donation  of  God,  as  well  as  other 
places  of  scripture,  the  sovereignty  of  Adam, 
built  upon  his  private  dominion,  must  fall,  not 
having  any  foundation  to  support  it. 

§.41.  But  yet,  if  after  all,  any  one  will 
needs  have  it  so,  that  by  this  donation  of  God, 
Adam  was  made  sole  proprietor  of  the  whole 


earth,  what  will  this  be  to  his  sovereignty?  and 
how  will  it  appear,  that  propriety  in  land  gives 
a  man  power  over  the  life  of  another?  or  how 
will  the  possession  even  of  the  whole  earth, 
give  any  one  a  sovereign  arbitrary  authority 
over  the  persons  of  men?  The  most  specious 
thing  to  be  said,  is,  that  he  that  is  proprietor 
of  the  whole  world,  may  deny  all  the  rest  of 
mankind  food,  and  so  at  his  pleasure  starve 
them,  if  they  will  not  acknowledge  his  so- 
vereignty, and  obey  his  will.  If  this  were 
true,  it  would  be  a  good  argument  to  prove, 
that  there  never  was  any  such  property,  that 
God  never  gave  any  such  private  dominion ; 
since  it  is  more  reasonable  to  think,  that  God, 
who  bid  mankind  increase  and  multiply,  should 
rather  himself  give  them  all  a  right  to  make 
use  of  the  food  and  raiment,  and  other  conve- 
niences of  life,  the  materials  whereof  he  had 
so  plentifully  provided  for  them  ;  than  to  make 
them  depend  upon  the  will  of  a  man  for  their 
subsistence,  who  should  have  power  to  destroy 
them  all  when  he  pleased,  and  who,  being  no 
better  than  other  men,  was  in  succession  like- 
lier, by  want  and  the  dependence  of  a  scanty 
fortune,  to  tie  them  to  hard  service,  than  by 
liberal  allowance  of  the  conveniences  of  life  to 
promote  the  great  design  of  God,  increase  and 
multiply :  he  that  doubts  this,  let  him  look  into 
the  absolute  monarchies  of  the  world,  and  see 
what  becomes  of  the  conveniences  of  life,  and 
the  multitudes  of  people. 


§.  42.  But  we  know  God  hath  not  left  one 
man  so  to  the  mercy  of  another,  that  he  may 
starve  him  if  he  please :  God  the  Lord  and 
Father  of  all,  has  given  no  one  of  his  children 
such  a  property  in  his  peculiar  portion  of  the 
things  of  this  world,  but  that  he  has  given  his 
needy  brother  a  right  to  the  surplusage  of  his 
goods;  so  that  it  cannot  justly  be  denied  him, 
when  his  pressing  wants  call  for  it :  and  there- 
fore no  man  could  ever  have  a  just  power  over 
the  life  of  another  by  right  of  property  in  land 
or  possessions  ;  since  it  would  always  be  a  sin, 
in  any  man  of  estate,  to  let  his  brother  perish 
for  want  of  affording  him  relief  out  of  his 
plenty.  As  justice  gives  every  man  a  title  to 
the  product  of  his  honest  industry,  and  the 
fair  acquisitions  of  his  ancestors  descended  to 
him ;  so  charity  gives  every  man  a  title  to  so 
much  out  of  another's  plenty,  as  will  keep  him 
from  extreme  want,  where  he  has  no  means 
to  subsist  otherwise :  and  a  man  can  no  more 
justly  make  use  of  another's  necessity,  to  force 
him  to  become  his  vassal,  by  with-holding  that 
relief,  God  requires  him  to  afford  to  the  wants 
of  his  brother,  than  he  that  has  more  strength 
can  seize  upon  a  weaker,  master  him  to  his 
obedience,  and  with  a  dagger  at  his  throat  offer 
him  death  or  slavery. 

§.  43.  Should  any  one  make  so  perverse  an 
use  of  God's  blessings  poured  on  him  with  a 
liberal  hand  ;  should  any  one  be  cruel  and  un- 
charitable to  that  extremity,  yet  all  this  would 


not  prove  that  propriety  in  land,  even  in  this 
case,  gave  any  authority  over  the  persons  of 
men,  but  only  that  compact  might ;  since  the 
authority  of  the  rich  proprietor,  and  the  sub- 
jection of  the  needy  beggar,  began  not  from 
the  possession  of  the  lord,  but  the  consent  of 
the  poor  man,  who  preferred  being  his  subject 
to  starving.  And  the  man  he  thus  submits  to, 
can  pretend  to  no  more  power  over  him,  than 
he  has  consented  to,  upon  compact.  Upon 
this  ground  a  man's  having  his  stores  filled  in 
a  time  of  scarcity,  having  money  in  his  pocket, 
being  in  a  vessel  at  sea,  being  able  to  swim,  fyc. 
may  as  well  be  the  foundation  of  rule  and 
dominion,  as  being  possessor  of  all  the  land 
in  the  world ;  any  of  these  being  sufficient  to 
enable  me  to  save  a  man's  life,  who  would 
perish  if  such  assistance  were  denied  him ; 
and  any  thing,  by  this  rule,  that  may  be  an 
occasion  of  working  upon  another's  necessity, 
to  save  his  life,  or  any  thing  dear  to  him,  at  the 
rate  of  his  freedom,  may  be  made  a  foundation 
of  sovereignty,  as  well  as  property.  From  all 
which  it  is  clear,  that  though  God  should  have 
given  Adam  private  dominion,  yet  that  private 
dominion  could  give  him  no  sovereignty ;  but 
we  have  already  sufficiently  proved,  that  God 
gave  him  no  private  dominion. 



Of  Adam's   Title  to  sovereignty  by  the  subjec- 
tion o/"Eve. 

§.  44.  The  next  place  of  scripture  we  find 
our  author  builds  his  monarchy  of  Adam  on, 
is,  Gen.  iii.  26.  And  thy  desire  shall  be  to  thy 
husband,  and  he  shall  rule  over  thee.  Here  ice 
have  (says  he)  the  original  grant  of  government , 
from  whence  he  concludes,  in  the  following 
part  of  the  page,  Observations,  244.  That  the 
supreme  poiver  is  settled  in  the  fatherhood,  and 
limited  to  one  kind  of  government,  that  is,  to 
monarchy.  For  let  his  premises  be  what  they 
will,  this  is  always  the  conclusion  ;  let  rule,  in 
any  text,  be  but  once  named,  and  presently 
absolute  monarchy  is  by  divine  right  established. 
If  any  one  will  but  carefully  read  our  author's 
own  reasoning  from  these  words,  Observations, 
244.  and  consider,  among  other  things,  the 
line  and  posterity  of  Adam,  as  he  there  brings 
them  in,  he  will  find  some  difficulty  to  make 
sense  of  what  he  says ;  but  we  will  allow  this 
at  present  to  his  peculiar  May  of  writing,  and 
consider  the  force  of  the  text  in  hand.  The 
words  are  the  curse  of  God  upon  the  woman 
for  having  been  the  first  and  forwardest  in  the 
disobedience ;  and  if  we  will  consider  the 
occasion  of  what  God  says  here  to  our  first 
parents,  that  he   was    denouncing  judgement, 


and  declaring  lii.s  wrath  against  them  both, 
for  their  disobedience,  we  cannot  suppose  that 
this  was  the  time,  wherein  God  was  granting 
Adam  prerogatives  and  privileges,  investing 
him  with  dignity  and  authority,  elevating  him 
to  dominion  and  monarchy :  for  though,  as 
a  helper  in  the  temptation,  Eve  was  laid  below 
him,  and  so  he  had  accidentally  a  superiority 
over  her,  for  her  greater  punishment;  yet  he 
too  had  his  share  in  the  fall,  as  well  as  the  sin, 
and  was  laid  lower,  as  may  be  seen  in  the 
following  verses ;  and  it  would  be  hard  to 
imagine,  that  God,  in  the  same  breath,  should 
make  him  universal  monarch  over  all  mankind, 
and  a  day-labourer  for  his  life ;  turn  him  out 
of  paradise  to  till  the  ground,  ver.  23.  and  at 
the  same  time  advance  him  to  a  throne,  and 
all  the  privileges  and  ease  of  absolute  power. 
§.  45.  This  was  not  a  time,  when  Adam 
could  expect  any  favours,  any  grant  of  privi- 
leges from  his  offended  Maker.  If  this  be 
the  original  grant  of  government,  as  our  author 
tells  us,  and  Adam  was  now  made  monarch, 
whatever  Sir  Robert  would  have  him,  it  is 
plain,  God  made  him  but  a  very  poor  monarch, 
such  an  one,  as  our  author  himself  would  have 
counted  it  no  great  privilege  to  be.  God  sets 
him  to  work  for  his  living,  and  seems  rather  to 
give  him  a  spade  into  his  hand,  to  subdue  the 
earth,  than  a  sceptre  to  rule  over  its  inhabi- 
tants. In  the  sweat  of  thy  face  thou  shall  eat 
thy  bread,  says  God  to  him,  ver.  19.     This  was 



unavoidable,  may  it  perhaps  be  answered, 
because  he  was  yet  without  subjects,  and  had 
nobody  to  work  for  him  ;  but  afterwards,  living 
as  he  did  above  900  years,  he  might  have 
people  enough,  whom  he  might  command  to 
work  for  him ;  no,  says  God,  not  only  whilst 
thou  art  without  other  help,  save  thy  wife,  but 
as  long  thou  livest,  shalt  thou  live  by  thy 
labour,  In  the  sweat  of  thy  face,  shalt  thou  eat 
thy  bread,  till  thou  return  unto  the  ground,  for 
out  of  it  wast  thou  taken,  for  dust  thou  art,  and 
unto  dust  shalt  thou  return,  v.  19.  It  will 
perhaps  be  answered  again  in  favour  of  our 
author,  that  these  words  are  not  spoken  person- 
ally to  Adam,  but  in  him,  as  their  representa- 
tive, to  all  mankind,  this  being  a  curse  upon 
mankind,  because  of  the  fall. 

§.  46.  God,  I  believe,  speaks  differently 
from  men,  because  he  speaks  with  more  truth, 
more  certainty :  but  when  he  vouchsafes  to 
speak  to  men,  I  do  not  think  he  speaks 
differently  from  them,  in  crossing  the  rules  of 
language  in  use  amongst  them  :  this  would  not 
be  to  condescend  to  their  capacities,  when  he 
humbles  himself  to  speak  to  them,  but  to  lose 
his  design  in  speaking  what,  thus  spoken, 
they  could  not  understand.  And  yet  thus 
must  we  think  of  God,  if  the  interpretations 
of  scripture,  necessary  to  maintain  our  author's 
doctrine,  must  be  received  for  good  :  for  by 
the  ordinary  rules  of  language,  it  will  be  very 
hard  to  understand  what  God  says,  if  what  he 

OF    GOVERNMENT.  r>  1 

speaks  here,  in  the  singular  number,  to  Adam, 
must  be  understood  to  be  spoken  to  all  man- 
kind, and  what  he  says  in  the  plural  number, 
Gen.  i.  26,  and  28.  must  be  understood  of 
Adam  alone,  exclusive  of  all  others,  and  what 
he  says  to  Noah  and  his  sons  jointly,  must 
be  understood  to  be  meant  to  Noah  alone, 
Gen.  ix. 

§.  47.  Farther  it  is  to  be  noted,  that  these 
words  here  of  Gen.  iii.  10.  which  our  author 
calls  the  original  grant  of  government,  were  not 
spoken  to  Adam,  neither  indeed  was  there  any 
grant  in  them  made  to  Adam,  but  a  punishment 
laid  upon  Eve:  and  if  we  will  take  them  as 
they  were  directed  in  particular  to  her,  or  in 
her,  as  their  representative  to  all  other  women, 
they  will  at  most  concern  the  female  sex  only, 
and  import  no  more,  but  that  subjection  they 
should  ordinarily  be  in  to  their  husband  :  but 
there  is  here  no  more  law  to  oblige  a  woman 
to  such  subjection,  if  the  circumstances  either 
of  her  condition,  or  contract  with  her  husbands, 
should  exempt  her  from  it,  than  there  is,  that 
she  should  bring  forth  her  children  in  sorrow 
and  pain,  if  there  could  be  found  a  remedy  for 
it,  which  is  also  a  part  of  the  same  curse  upon 
her :  for  the  whole  verse  runs  thus,  Unto  the 
woman  he  said,  I  will  greatly  multiply  thy 
sorrow  and  thy  conception ;  in  sorrow  thou  shalt 
bring  forth  children,  and  thy  desire  shall  be  to 
thy  husband,  and  he  shall  rule  over  thee.  It 
would,    I  think,  have   been   a  hard  matter  for 

e  2 


any  body,  but  our  author,  to  have  found  out  a 
grant  of  monarchical  government  to  Adam  in 
these  words,  which  were  neither  spoke  to,  nor 
of  him  :  neither  will  any  one,  I  suppose,  by 
these  words,  think  the  weaker  sex,  as  by  a 
law,  so  subjected  to  the  curse  contained  in 
them,  that  it  is  their  duty  not  to  endeavour  to 
avoid  it.  And  will  any  one  say,  that  Ere,  or 
any  other  woman,  sinned,  if  she  were  brought 
to  bed  without  those  multiplied  pains  God 
threatens  her  here  with  ?  or  that  either  of  our 
queens,  Mary  or  Elisabeth,  had  they  married 
any  of  their  subjects,  had  been  by  this  text, 
put  into  a  political  subjection  to  him  ?  or  that 
he  thereby  should  have  had  monarchical  rule 
over  her?  God,  in  this  text,  gives  not,  that  I 
see,  any  authority  to  Adam  over  Eve,  or  to 
men  over  their  wives,  but  only  foretels  what 
should  be  the  woman's  lot,  how  by  his  provi- 
dence he  would  order  it  so,  that  she  should 
be  subject  to  her  husband,  as  we  see  that 
generally  the  laws  of  mankind  and  customs  of 
nations  have  ordered  it  so;  and  there  is,  I 
grant,  a  foundation  in  nature  for  it. 

§.  48.  Thus  when  God  says  of  Jacob  and 
Esau,  that  the  elder  should  serve  the  younger, 
Gen.  xxv.  23.  no  body  supposes  that  God 
hereby  made  Jacob  Esaus  sovereign,  but  fore- 
told what  should  de  facto  come  to  pass. 

But  if  these  words  here  spoke  to  Eve  must 
needs  be  understood  as  a  law  to  bind  her  and 
all   other  women  to  subjection,  it  can   be  no 


other  subjection  than  what  every  wife  owes  her 
husband  :  and  then  if  this  be  the  original  grant 
of  government  and  the  foundation  of  monar- 
chical power,  there  will  be  as  many  inonarchs 
as  there  are  husbands  :  if  therefore  these  words 
give  any  power  to  Adam,  it  can  be  only  a  con- 
jugal power,  not  political ;  the  power  that  every 
husband  hath  to  order  the  things  of  private  con- 
cernment in  his  family,  as  proprietor  of  the  goods 
and  land  there,  and  to  have  his  will  take  place  be- 
fore that  of  his  wife  in  all  things  of  their  common 
concernment;  but  not  a  political  power  of  life 
and  death  over  her,  much  less  over  any  body  else. 
§.  49.  This  I  am  sure :  if  our  author  will 
have  this  text  to  be  a  grant,  lite  original  grant 
of  government,  political  government,  he  ought 
to  have  proved  it  by  some  better  arguments 
than  by  barely  saying,  that  thy  desire  shall  be 
unto  thy  husband,  was  a  law  whereby  Eve,  and 
all  that  should  come  of  her,  were  subjected  to 
the  absolute  monarchical  power  of  Adam  and 
his  keirs.  Thy  desire  shall  be  to  thy  husband, 
is  too  doubtful  an  expression,  of  whose  signi- 
fication interpreters  are  not  agreed,  to  build  so 
confidently  on,  and  in  a  matter  of  such  moment, 
and  so  great  and  general  concernment:  but 
our  author,  according  to  his  way  of  writing, 
having  once  named  the  text,  concludes  pre- 
sently without  any  more  ado,  that  the  meaning 
is  as  he  would  have  it.  Let  the  words  rule 
and  subject  be  but  found  in  the  text  or  margent, 
and  it  immediately  signifies  the  duty  of  a  sub- 


ject  to'  his  prince;  the  relation  is  changed, 
and  though  God  says  husband,  Sir  Robert  will 
have  it  king;  Adam  has  presently  absolute 
monarchial power  over  Eve,  and  not  only  over 
Eve,  but  all  that  should  come  of  her,  though 
the  scripture  says  not  a  word  of  it,  nor  our 
author  a  word  to  prove  it.  But  Adam  must 
for  all  that  be  an  absolute  monarch,  and  so 
down  to  the  end  of  the  chapter.  And  here  I 
leave  my  reader  to  consider,  whether  my  bare 
saying,  without  offering  any  reasons  to  evince 
it,  that  this  text  gave  not  Adam  that  absolute 
monarchial  power,  our  author  supposes,  be  not 
sufficient  to  destroy  that  power,  as  his  bare 
assertion  is  to  establish  it,  since  the  text  men- 
tions neither  prince  nor  people,  speaks  nothing 
of  absolute  or  monarchial  power,  but  the  sub- 
jection of  Eve  to  Adam,  a  wife  to  her  husband. 
And  he  that  would  trace  our  author  so  all 
through,  would  make  a  short  and  sufficient 
answer  to  the  greatest  part  of  the  grounds  he 
proceeds  on,  and  abundantly  confute  them  by 
barely  denying ;  it  being  a  sufficient  answer  to 
assertions  without  proof,  to  deny  them  without 
giving  a  reason.  And  therefore  should  I  have 
said  nothing  but  barely  denied,  that  by  this 
text  the  supreme  power  was  settled  and  founded 
by  God  himself,  in  the  fatherhood,  limited  to 
monarchy,  and  that  to  Adam's  person  and  heirs, 
all  which  our  author  notably  concludes  from 
these  words,  as  may  be  seen  in  the  same  page, 
Observations,  244.  it  had  been  a  sufficient   an- 


swer:  should  I  have  desired  any  sober  man 
only  to  have  read  the  text,  and  considered  to 
whom,  and  on  what  occasion  it  was  spoken, 
he  would  no  doubt  have  wondered  how  our 
author  found  out  monarchial  absolute  power  in 
it,  had  he  not  had  an  exceeding  good  faculty 
to  find  it  himself,  where  he  could  not  shew  it 
others.  And  thus  we  have  examined  the  two 
places  of  scripture,  all  that  I  remember  our 
author  brings  to  prove  Adams  sovereignty,  that 
supremacy,  which  he  says,  it  was  Gods  ordi- 
nance should  be  unlimited  in  Adam,  and  as 
large  as  all  the  acts  of  his  will,  Observations, 
254.  viz.  Gen.  i.  28.  and  Gen.  hi.  16.  one  where- 
of signifies  only  the  subjection  of  the  inferior 
ranks  of  creatures  to  mankind,  and  the  other 
the  subjection  that  is  due  from  a  wife  to  her 
husband,  both  far  enough  from  that  which 
subjects  owe  the  governors  of  political  societies. 


Of  Adam's  Title  to  Sovereignty  by  Fatherhood. 

§.  50.  There  is  one  thing  more,  and  then  I 
think  I  have  given  you  all  that  our  author 
brings  for  proof  of  Adam's  sovereignty,  and 
that  is  a  supposition  of  a  natural  right  of  domi- 
nion over  his  children,  by  being  their  father : 
and  this  title  of  fatherhood  he  is  so  pleased 
with,  that  you  will  find  it  brought  in  almost 
in  every  page;  particularly  he  says,  not  only 


Adam,  but  the  succeeding  patriarchs  had   by 
right  of  fatherhood  royal  authority  over  their 
children,  p.  12.    And    in  the  same  page,    this 
subjection  of  children  being  the  fountain  of  all 
regal  authority,  &c.     This  being,  as  one  would 
think   by    his   so   frequent   mentioning  it,  the 
main  basis  of  all  his  frame,   we   may  well  ex- 
pect clear  and  evident  reason  for  it,   since  he 
lays  it  down  as  a   position   necessary  to  his 
purpose,  that  every  man  that  is  born  is  so  far 
from  being  free,  that  by  his  very  birth  he  becomes 
a  subject  of  him  that  begets  him,  Observations, 
156.  so  that  Adam  being  the  only  man  created, 
and  all  ever  since  being  begotten,  no  body  has 
been  born  free.     If  we  ask  how  Adam  comes 
by  this  power  over  his    children,  he  tells  us 
here  it  is  by  begetting  them :  and  so  again,  Ob- 
servations, 223.  this  natural  dominion  of  Adam, 
says  he,  may  be  proved  out  of  Grotius,  himself, 
who  teacheth,  that  generatione  jus  acquiritur 
parentibus  in  liberos.     And   indeed   the  act  of 
begetting   being    that   which  makes  a  man  a 
father,  his  right  of  a  father  over  his  children 
can  naturally  arise  from  nothing  else. 

§.  51.  Grotius  tells  us  not  here  how  far  this 
jus  in  liberos,  this  power  of  parents  over  their 
children  extends;  but  our  author,  always  very 
clear  in  the  point,  assures  us,  it  is  supreme  powet\ 
and  like  that  of  absolute  monarchs  over  their 
slaves,  absolute  power  of  life  and  death.  He 
that  should  demand  of  him,  how,  or  for  what 
reason  it  is,  that   begetting  a  child  gives  the 


father  such  an  absolute  power  over  him,  will 
find  him  answer  nothing :  we  are  to  take  his 
word  for  this,  as  well  as  several  other  things; 
and  by  that  the  laws  of  nature  and  the  consti- 
tutions of  government  must  stand  or  fall.  Had 
he  been  an  absolute  monarch,  this  way  of  talk- 
ing might  have  suited  well  enough  ;  pro  ratione 
voluntas  might  have  been  of  force  in  his  mouth ; 
but  in  the  way  of  proof  or  argument  is  very 
unbecoming,  and  will  little  advantage  his  plea 
for  absolute  monarchy.  Sir  Robert  has  too 
much  lessened  a  subject's  authority  to  leave 
himself  the  hopes  of  establishing  any  thing  by 
bis  bare  saying  it;  one  slave's  opinion  without 
proof  is  not  of  weight  enough  to  dispose  of 
the  liberty  and  fortunes  of  all  mankind.  If  all 
men  are  not,  as  I  think  they  are,  naturally 
equal,  I  am  sure  all  slaves  are;  and  then  I 
may  without  presumption  oppose  my  single 
opinion  to  his  ;  and  be  confident  that  my  say- 
ing, that  begetting  of  children  makes  them  not 
slaves  to  their  fathers,  as  certainly  sets  all  man- 
kind free,  as  his  affirming  the  contrary  makes 
them  all  slaves.  But  that  this  position,  which 
is  the  foundation  of  all  their  doctrine,  who 
would  have  monarchy  to  be  jure  divino,  may 
have  all  fair  play,  let  us  hear  what  reasons 
others  give  for  it,  since  our  author  offers  none. 

§.  52.  The  argument,  I  have  heard  others 
make  use  of,  to  prove  that  fathers,  by  begetting 
them,  come  by  an  absolute  power  over  their 
children,  is  this;  that  fathers  have  a  power  over 


the  lives  of  their  children,  because  they  give 
them  life  and  being;  which  is  the  only  proof  it 
is  capable  of:  since  there  can  be  no  reason, 
why  naturally  one  man  should  have  any  claim 
or  pretence  of  right  over  that  in  another,  which 
was  never  his,  which  he  bestowed  not,  but  was 
received  from  the  bounty  of  another.  1.  I  an- 
swer, that  every  one  who  gives  another  any 
thing,  has  not  always  thereby  a  right  to  take  it 
away  again.  But,  2.  They  who  say  the  father 
gives  life  to  his  children,  are  so  dazzled  with 
the  thoughts  of  monarchy,  that  they  do  not, 
as  they  ought,  remember  God,  who  is  the  au- 
thor and  giver  of  life :  it  is  in  him  alone  ive 
lire,  more,  and  hare  our  being.  How  can  he 
be  thought  to  give  life  to  another,  that  knows 
not  wherein  his  own  life  consists?  Philoso- 
phers are  at  a  loss  about  it  after  their  most 
diligent  enquiries ;  and  anatomists,  after  their 
whole  lives  and  studies  spent  in  dissections, 
and  diligent  examining  the  bodies  of  men,  con- 
fess their  ignorance  in  the  structure  and  use 
of  many  parts  of  man's  body,  and  in  that 
operation  wherein  life  consists  in  the  whole. 
And  doth  the  rude  plough-man,  or  the  more 
ignorant  voluptuary,  frame  or  fashion  such  an 
admirable  engine  as  this  is,  and  then  put  life 
and  sense  into  it?  Can  any  man  say,  he  formed 
the  parts  that  are  necessary  to  the  life  of  his 
child  ?  or  can  he  suppose  himself  to  give  the 
life,  and  yet  not  know  what  subject  is  fit  to 
receive  it,  nor  what  actions  or  organs  are 
necessary  for  its  reception  or  preservation  ? 


§;  o3.  To  give  life  to  that  Which  has  yet  no 
being,  is  to  frame  and  make  a  living-  creature, 
fashion  the  parts,  and  mould  and  suit  them  to 
their  uses,  and  having  proportioned  and  titted 
them  together,  to  put  into  them  a  living  soul. 
He  that  could  do  this,  might  indeed  have 
some  pretence  to  destroy  his  own  workman- 
ship. But  is  there  any  one  so  bold,  that  dares 
thus  far  arrogate  to  himself,  the  incomprehen- 
sible  works  of  the  Almighty?  Who  alone  did 
at  first,  and  continues  still  to  make  a  living 
soul,  he  alone  can  breathe  in  the  breath  of  life. 
If  any  one  thinks  himself  an  artist  at  this,  let 
him  number  up  the  parts  of  his  child's  body 
which  he  hath  made,  tell  me  their  uses  and 
operations,  and  when  the  living  and  rational 
soul  began  to  inhabit  this  curious  structure, 
when  sense  began,  and  how  this  engine,  which 
he  has  framed,  thinks  and  reasons:  if  he  made 
it,  let  him,  when  it  is  out  of  order,  mend  it,  at 
least  tell  wherein  the  defects  lie.  Shall  he  that 
made  the  eye  not  see  ?  says  the  Psalmist,  Psalm 
xciv.  9.  See  these  men's  vanities :  the  struc- 
ture of  that  one  part  is  sufficient  to  convince 
us  of  an  all-wise  contriver,  and  he  has  so  visi- 
ble a  claim  to  us  as  his  workmanship,  that 
one  of  the  ordinary  appellations  of  God  in 
scripture  is,  God  our  Maker,  and  the  Lord  our 
Maker.  And  therefore  though  our  author,  for 
the  magnifying  his  fatherhood,  be  pleased  to 
say,  Observations,  159.  That  even  the  power 
which  God  himself  exercisclh  over  mankind  is 


by  right  of  fatherhood,  yet  this  fatherhood  is 
such  an  one  as  utterly  excludes  all  pretence  of 
title  in  earthly  parents  ;  for  he  is  king,  because 
he  is  indeed  maker  of  us  all,  which  no  parents 
can  pretend  to  be  of  their  children. 

§.  54.  But  had  men  skill  and  power  to  make 
their  children,  it  is  not  so  slight  a  piece  of 
workmanship,  that  it  can  be  imagined,  they 
could  make  them  without  designing  it.  What 
father  of  a  thousand,  when  he  begets  a  child, 
thinks  farther  than  the  satisfying  his  present 
appetite!  God  in  his  infinite  wisdom  has  put 
strong  desires  of  copulation  into  the  consti- 
tution of  men,  thereby  to  continue  the  race  of 
mankind,  which  he  doth  most  commonly  with- 
out the  intention,  and  often  against  the  consent 
and  will  of  the  begetter.  And  indeed  those 
who  desire  and  design  children,  are  but  the 
occasions  of  their  being,  and  when  they  design 
and  wish  to  beget  them,  do  little  more  towards 
their  making,  than  Deucalion  and  his  wife  in 
the  fable  did  towards  the  making  of  mankind, 
by  throwing  pebbles  over  their  heads. 

§.  55.  But  grant  that  the  parents  made  their 
children,  gave  them  life  and  being,  and  that 
hence  there  followed  an  absolute  power.  This 
would  give  the  father  but  a  joint  dominion 
with  the  mother  over  them :  for  nobody  can 
deny  but  that  the  woman  hath  an  equal  share, 
if  not  the  greater,  as  nourishing  the  child  a 
long  time  in  her  own  body  out  of  her  own 
substance ;  there  it  is  fashioned,  and  from  her 


it  receives  the  materials  and  principles  of  its 
constitution :  and  it  is  so  hard  to  imagine  the 
rational  soul  should  presently  inhabit  the  yet 
unformed  embrio,  as  soon  as  the  father  has 
done  his  part  in  the  act  of  generation,  that  if 
it  must  be  supposed  to  derive  any  thing  from 
the  parents,  it  must  certainly  owe  most  to  the 
mother.  But  be  that  as  it  will,  the  mother 
cannot  be  denied  an  equal  share  in  begetting 
of  the  child,  and  so  the  absolute  authority  of 
of  the  father  will  not  arise  from  hence.  Our 
author  indeed  is  of  another  mind  ;  for  he  says, 
We  know  that  God  at  the  creation  gave  the 
sovereignty  to  the  man  over  the  woman,  as  being 
the  nobler  and  principal  agent  in  generation, 
Observations,  172.  I  remember  not  this  in 
my  Bible;  and  when  the  place  is  brought 
where  God  at  the  creation  gave  the  sovereignty 
to  man  over  the  woman,  and  that  for  this 
reason,  because  he  is  the  nobler  and  principal 
agent  in  generation,  it  will  be  time  enough  to 
consider,  and  answer  it.  But  it  is  no  new 
thing  for  our  author  to  tell  us  his  own  fancies 
for  certain  and  divine  truths,  though  there  be 
often  a  great  deal  of  difference  between  his 
and  divine  revelations ;  for  God  in  scripture 
says,  his  father  and  his  mother  that  begot  him. 
§.  56.  They  who  alledge  the  practice  of 
mankind,  for  exposing  or  selling  their  children, 
as  a  proof  of  their  power  over  them,  are  with 
Sir  Robert  happy  arguers ;  and  cannot  but 
recommend  their  opinion,    by  founding  it  on 


Ihe  most  shameful  action,  and  most  unnatural 
murder,  human  nature  is  capable  of.  The 
dens  of  lions  and  nurseries  of  wolves  know  no 
such  cruelty  as  this :  these  savage  inhabitants 
of  the  desalt  obey  God  and  nature  in  being- 
tender  and  careful  of  their  offspring:  they  will 
hunt,  watch,  fight,  and  almost  starve  for  the 
preservation  of  their  young ;  never  part  with 
them;  never  forsake  them,  till  they  are  able 
to  shift  for  themselves.  And  is  it  the  privilege 
of  man  alone  to  act  more  contrary  to  nature 
than  the  wild  and  most  untamed  part  of  the 
creation?  Doth  God  forbid  us  under  the  se- 
verest penalty,  that  of  death,  to  take  away  the 
life  of  any  man,  a  stranger,  and  upon  provoca- 
tion ?  and  does  he  permit  us  to  destroy  those, 
he  has  given  us  the  charge  of;  and  by  the 
dictates  of  nature  and  reason,  as  well  as  his 
revealed  command,  requires  us  to  preserve? 
He  has  in  all  the  parts  of  the  creation  taken  a 
peculiar  care  to  propagate  and  continue  the 
several  species  of  creatures,  and  make  the  in- 
dividuals act  so  strongly  to  this  end,  that  they 
sometimes  neglect  their  own  private  good  for 
it,  and  seem  to  forget  that  general  rule,  which 
nature  teaches  all  things,  of  self-preservation; 
and  the  preservation  of  their  young,  as  the 
strongest  principle  in  them,  over-rules  the  con- 
stitution of  their  particular  natures.  Thus  we 
see,  when  their  young  stand  in  need  of  it,  the 
timorous  become  valiant,  the  fierce  and  savage 
kind,  and  the  ravenous  tender  and  liberal. 


&.  .57.  But  if  the  example  of  what  bath  been 
done,  be  the  rule  of  what  ought  to  be,  history 
would  have  furnished  our  author  with  instances 
of  this  absolute  fatherly  power  in  its  height  and 
perfection,  and  he  might  have  shewed  us  in 
Peru,  people  that  begot  children  on  purpose 
to  fatten  and  eat  them.  The  story  is  so 
remarkable  that  I  cannot  but  set  it  down  in  the 
author's  words.  "  In  some  provinces,  says  he, 
"  they  were  so  liquorish  after  man's  flesh,  that 
"  they  would  not  have  the  patience  to  stay 
"  till  the  breath  was  out  of  the  body,  but 
"  would  suck  the  blood  as  it  ran  from  the 
"  wounds  of  the  dying  man ;  they  had  public 
"  shambles  of  man's  flesh,  and  their  madness 
"  herein  was  to  that  degree,  that  they  spared 
"  not  their  own  children,  which  they  had  begot 
"  on  strangers  taken  in  war:  for  they  made 
"  their  captives  their  mistresses,  and  choicely 
"  nourished  the  children  they  had  by  them,  till 
"  about  thirteen  years  old  they  butchered  and 
"  eat  them;  and  they  served  the  mothers  after 
"  the  same  fashion,  when  they  grew  past  child- 
"  bearing,  and  ceased  to  bring  them  any  more 
"  roasters."  Garci lasso  de  la  vega  Hist,  ties 
Yucas  de  Peru,  1.  i.  c.  12. 

§.  58.  Thus  far  can  the  busy  mind  of  man 
carry  him  to  a  brutality  below  the  level  of 
beasts,  when  he  quits  his  reason,  which  places 
him  almost  equal  to  angels.  Nor  can  it  be 
otherwise  in  a  creature,  whose  thoughts  are 
more  than  the  sands,  and  wider  than  the  ocean, 


-where  fancy  and  passion  must  needs  run  him 
into  strange  courses,  if  reason,  which  is  his 
only  star  and  compass  be  not  that  he  steers 
by.  The  imagination  is  always  restless,  and 
suggests  variety  of  thoughts,  and  the  will, 
reason  being  laid  aside,  is  ready  for  every  extra- 
vagant project ;  and  in  this  state,  he  that  goes 
farthest  out  of  the  way,  is  thought  fittest  to 
lead,  and  is  sure  of  most  followers:  and  when 
fashion  hath  once  established  what  folly  or 
craft  began,  custom  makes  it  sacred,  and  if 
will  be  thought  impudence,  or  madness,  to  con- 
tradict or  question  it.  He  that  will  imparti- 
ally survey  the  nations  of  the  world,  will  find 
so  much  of  their  religions,  governments  and 
manners,  brought  in  and  continued  amongst 
them  by  these  means,  that  he  will  have  but 
little  reverence  for  the  practices  which  are  in 
use  and  credit  amongst  men  ;  and  will  have 
reason  to  think,  that  the  woods  and  forests, 
where  the  irrational  untaught  inhabitants  keep 
right  by  following  nature,  are  fitter  to  give  us 
rules,  than  cities  and  palaces,  where  those  that 
call  themselves  civil  and  rational,  go  out  of 
their  way,  by  the  authority  of  example.  If 
precedents  are  sufficient  to  establish  a  rule  in 
this  case,  our  author  might  have  found  in  holy 
writ  children  sacrificed  by  their  parents,  and 
this  amongst  the  people  of  God  themselves: 
the  Psalmist  tells  us,  Psal.  cvi.  38.  They  shed 
innocent  blood,  even  the  blood  of  their  sons  and 
of  their  daughters,  whom    they  sacrificed  unto 


the  idols  of  Canaan.  But  God  judged  not  of 
this  by  our  author's  rule,  nor  allowed  of  the 
authority  of  practice  against  his  righteous  law  ; 
but  as  it  follows  there,  the  land  teas  polluted 
with  blood;  therefore  teas  the  wrath  of  the 
Lord  kindled  against  his  people,  insomuch  that 
he  abhorred  his  own  inheritance.  The  killing 
of  their  children,  though  it  were  fashionable, 
was  charged  on  them  as  innocent  blood,  and 
so  had  in  the  account  of  God  the  guilt  of 
murder,  as  the  offering  them  to  idols  had  the 
guilt  of  idolatry. 

§.  59.  Be  it  then,  as  Sir  Robert  says,  that 
anciently  it  was  usual  for  men  to  sell  and  cas- 
trate their  children,  Observations,  155.  Let  it 
be,  that  they  exposed  them  ;  add  to  it,  if  you 
please,  for  this  is  still  greater  power,  that  they 
begat  them  for  their  tables,  to  fat  and  eat 
them  :  if  this  proves  a  right  to  do  so,  we  may, 
by  the  same  argument,  justify  adultery,  incest 
and  sodomy,  for  there  are  examples  of  these 
too,  both  ancient  and  modern ;  sins,  which  I 
suppose  have  their  principal  aggravation  from 
this,  that  they  cross  the  main  intention  of 
nature,  which  willeth  the  increase  of  mankind, 
and  the  continuation  of  the  species  in  the  high- 
est perfection,  and  the  distinction  of  families, 
with  the  security  of  the  marriage-bed,  as 
necessary  thereunto. 

§.  60.  In  confirmation  of  this  natural  autho- 
rity of  the  father,  our  author  brings  a  lame 
proof  from  the  positive  command  of  God  in 


scripture:  his  words  are,  To  confirm  the  natural 
right  of  regal  power,  ice  find  in  the  Decalogue, 
that  the  law  which  enjoins  obedience  to  kings,  is 
delivered  in  the  terms,  Honour  thy  father,  p. 
23.  Whereas  many  confess,  that  government 
only  in  the  abstract,  is  the  ordinance  of  God, 
they  are  not  able  to  prove  any  such  ordinance  in 
the  scripture,  but  only  in  the  fatherly  power; 
and  therefore  we  find  the  commandment,  thai 
enjoins  obedience  to  superiors,  given  in  the  terms, 
Honour  thy  father;  so  that  not  only  the  power 
and  right  of  government,  but  the  form  of  the 
power  governing,  and  the  person  having  the 
power,  are  all  the  ordinances  of  God.  The 
first  father  had  not  only  simply  power,  but 
power  monarchical,  as  he  was  father  immediately 
from  God,  Observations,  254.  To  the  same 
purpose,  the  same  law  is  cited  by  our  author 
in  several  other  places,  and  just  after  the  same 
fashion;  that  is,  and  mother,  as  apochrvphal 
words,  are  always  left  out ;  a  great  argument 
of  our  authors  ingenuity,  and  the  goodness  of 
his  cause,  which  required  in  its  defender  zeal 
to  a  degree  of  warmth,  able  to  warp  the  sacred 
rule  of  the  word  of  God,  to  make  it  comply 
with  his  present  occasion  ;  a  way  of  proceeding 
not  unusual  to  those,  who  embrace  not  truths, 
because  reason  and  revelation  offer  them,  but 
espouse  tenets  and  parties  for  ends  different 
from  truth,  and  then  resolve  at  any  rate  to 
defend  them ;  and  so  do  with  the  words  and 
sense  of  authors,  they  would  fit  to  their  purpose, 


just  as  Procrustes  did  with  his  guests,  lop  or 
stretch  them,  as  may  best  fit  them  to  the 
size  of  their  notions  :  and  they  always  prove 
like  those  so  served,  deformed,  lame,  and 

§.  61.  For  had  our  author  set  down  this  com- 
mand without  garbling,  as  God  gave  it,  and 
joined  mother  to  father,  every  reader  would 
have  seen,  that  it  had  made  directly  against 
him ;  and  that  it  was  so  far  from  establishing 
the  monarchical  power  of  the  father,  that  it  set 
up  the  mother  equal  with  him,  and  enjoined 
nothing  but  what  was  due  in  common,  to  both 
father  and  mother :  for  that  is  the  constant  tenor  ' 
of  the  scripture,  Honour  thy  father  and  thy 
mother,  Exod.  xx.  He  that  smiteth  his  father 
or  mother,  shall  surely  he  put  to  death,  xxi.  15. 
He  that  curs  el h  his  father  or  mother,  shall 
surely  be  put  to  death,  ver.  17.  Repeated,  Lev. 
xx.  9.  and  by  our  Saviour,  Matth.  xv.  4.  Ye 
shall  fear  every  man  his  mother  and  his  father, 
Lev.  xix.  3.  If  a  man  have  a  rebellious  son, 
which  will  not  obey  the  voice  of  his  father,  or  the 
voice  of  his  mother ;  then  shall  his  father  and 
his  mother  lay  hold  on  him,  and  say,  This  our 
son  is  stubborn  and  rebellious,  he  ivill  not  obey 
our  voice,  Deut.  xxi.  18,  19,  20,  21.  Cursed  be 
he  that  setteth  light  by  his  father  or  his  mother, 
xxviii.  16*.  My  son,  hear  the  instructions  of 
thy  father,  and  forsake  not  the  law  of  thy 
mother,  are  the  words  of  Solomon,  a  king  who 
was  not  ignorant  of  what  belonged  to  him  as 



a  father  or  a  king;  and  yet  he  joins  father  and 
mother  together,  in  all  the  instruction  he  gives 
children  quite  through  his  book  of  Proverbs. 
Woe  unto  him,  that  sayeth  unto  his  father. 
What  beget  test  thou?  or  to  the  woman,  What 
hast  thou  brought  forth?  Isa.  xi.  ver.  10.  In 
thee  hare  they  set  light  by  father  or  mother, 
Ezek.  xxviii.  *2.  And  it  shall  come  to  jrnss,  that 
when  any  shall  yet  prophesy,  then  his  father 
and  his  mother  that  begat  him,  shall  say  unto 
him,  thou  shall  not  live ;  and  his  father  and 
his  mother  that  begat  him,  shall  thrust  him 
through  when  he  prophesieth,  Zech.  xiii.  3. 
Here  not  the  father  only,  but  the  father  and 
mother  jointly,  had  power  in  this  case  of  life 
and  death.  Thus  ran  the  law  of  the  Old  Tes- 
tament, and  in  the  New  they  are  likewise  joined, 
in  the  obedience  of  their  children,  Eph.  vi.  J. 
The  rule  is,  Children,  obey  your  parents ;  and  I  do 
not  remember,  that  I  any  where  read,  Children, 
obey  your  father,  and  no  more :  the  scripture 
joins  mother  too  in  that  homage,  which  is  due 
from  children ;  and  had  there  been  any  text, 
where  the  honour  or  obedience  of  children  had 
been  directed  to  the  father  alone,  it  is  not 
likely  that  our  author,  who  pretends  to  build 
all  upon  scripture,  would  have  omitted  it : 
nay,  the  scripture  makes  the  authority  of  father 
and  mother,  in  respect  of  those  they  have 
begot,  so  equal,  that  in  some  places  it  neglects 
even  the  priority  of  order,  which  is  thought 
due  to  the  father,  and  the  mother  is  put  first, 


as  Lev.  xix.  3.  from  which  so  constantly 
joining  father  and  mother  together,  as  is  found 
quite  through  the  scripture,  we  may  conclude 
that  the  honour  they  have  a  title  to  from  their 
children,  is  one  common  right  belonging  so 
equally  to  them  both,  that  neither  can  claim  it 
wholly,  neither  can  be  excluded. 

§.  62.  One  would  wonder  then  how  our  au- 
thor infers  from  the  fifth  commandment,  that 
all  power  ivas  originally  in  the  father  ;  how  he 
finds  monarchical  power  of  government  settled 
and  fixed  by  the  commandment,  Honour  thy 
father  and  thy  mother.  If  all  the  honour  due 
by  the  commandment,  be  it  what  it  will,  be 
the  only  right  of  the  father  because  he,  as  our 
author  says,  has  the  sovereignty  over  the  woman, 
as  being  the  nobler  and  principaler  agent  in 
generation,  why  did  God  afterwards  all  along 
join  the  mother  with  him,  to  share  in  his  honour? 
can  the  father,  by  this  sovereignty  of  his,  dis- 
charge the  child  from  paying  this  honour  to 
his  mother  ?  The  scripture  gave  no  such  licence 
to  the  Jews,  and  yet  there  were  often  breaches 
wide  enough  betwixt  husband  and  wife,  even  to 
divorce  and  separation :  and,  I  think,  nobody 
will  say  a  child  may  with-hold  honour  from 
his  mother,  or,  as  the  scripture  terms  it,  set 
light  by  her,  though  his  father  should  com- 
mand him  to  do  so;  no  more  than  the  mother 
could  dispense  with  him  for  neglecting  to 
honour  his  father:  whereby  it  is  plain,  that 
this  command  of  God  gives  the  father  no  sove- 
reignty, no  supremacy. 


§.  63.  1  agree  with  our  author  that  the  title 
to  this  honour  is  vested  in  the  parents  by  na- 
ture, and  is  a  right  which  accrues  to  them  by 
their  having  begotten  their  children,  and  God 
by  many  positive  declarations  has  confirmed 
it  to  them  :  I  also  allow  our  authors  rule, 
that  in  grants  and  gifts,  that  have  their  original 
from  God  and  nature,  as  the  power  of  the 
father,  (let  me  add  and  mother,  for  whom  God 
hath  joined  together,  let  no  man  put  asunder) 
no  inferior  power  of  men  can  limit,  nor  make 
any  law  of  prescription  against  them,  Obser- 
vations, 158.  So  that  the  mother  having,  by 
this  law  of  God,  a  right  to  honour  from  her 
children,  which  is  not  subject  to  the  will  of 
her  husband,  we  see  this  absolute  monarchical 
power  of  the  father  can  neither  be  founded  on 
it,  nor  consist  with  it;  and  he  has  a  power 
very  far  from  monarchical,  very  far  from  that 
absoluteness  our  author  contends  ;  when  ano- 
ther has  over  his  subjects  the  same  power  he 
hath,  and  by  the  same  title :  and  therefore  he 
cannot  forbear  saying  himself  that  he  cannot 
see  how  any  mans  children  can  be  free  from 
subjection  to  their  parents,  p.  12.  which,  in 
common  speech,  I  think,  signifies  mother  as 
well  as  father;  or  if  parents  here  signifies  only 
father,  it  is  the  first  time  I  ever  yet  knew  it 
to  do  so,  and  by  such  an  use  of  words  one  may 
say  any  thing. 

§.  64.  By  our  author's  doctrine,  the  father, 
having  absolute  jurisdiction  over  his  children, 


has  also  Hie  same  over  their  issue;  and  the 
consequence  is  good,  were  it  true,  that  the 
father  had  such  a  power :  and  yet  I  ask  our 
author  whether  the  grandfather,  by  his  sove- 
reignty, could  discharge  the  grandchild  from 
paying  to  his  father  the  honour  due  to  him 
by  the  fifth  commandment.  If  the  grandfather 
hath,  by  right  of  fatherhood,  sole  sovereign 
power  in  him,  and  that  obedience  which  is  due 
to  the  supreme  magistrate,  be  commanded  in 
these  words,  Honour  thy  father,  it  is  certain 
the  grandfather  might  dispense  with  the  grand- 
son's honouring  his  father,  which  since  it  is 
evident  in  common  sense  he  cannot,  it  follows 
from  hence,  that  Honour  thy  father  and  mother, 
cannot  mean  an  absolute  subjection  to  a  sove- 
reign power,  but  something  else.  The  right 
therefore  which  parents  have  by  nature,  and 
which  is  confirmed  to  them  by  the  fifth  com- 
mandment, cannot  be  that  political  dominion 
which  our  author  would  derive  from  it:  for 
that  being  in  every  civil  society  supreme  some- 
where, can  discharge  any  subject  from  any 
political  obedience  to  any  one  of  his  fellow- 
subjects.  But  what  law  of  the  magistrate  can 
i^ive  a  child  liberty,  not  to  honour  his  father 
and  mother?  It  is  an  eternal  law,  annexed 
purely  to  the  ralation  of  parents  and  children, 
and  so  contains  nothing  of  the  magistrate's 
power  in  it,  nor  is  subjected  to  it. 

§.  05.  Our  author  says,  God  hath  given,  to  a 
father  a  right  or  liberty  to  alien  his  power  over 


his  children  to  any  other,  Observations,  155. 
1  doubt  whether  he  can  alien  wholly  the  right 
of  honour  that  is  due  from  them:  but  be  that 
as  it  will,  this  1  am  sure,  lie  cannot  alien,  and 
retain  the  same  power.  If  therefore  the  ma- 
gistrate's sovereignty  be,  as  our  author  would 
have  it,  nothing  but  the  authority  of  a  su- 
preme father,  p.  23.  it  is  unavoidable,  that  if 
the  magistrate  hath  all  this  paternal  right,  as 
he  must  have  if  fatherhood  be  the  fountain  of 
all  authority ;  then  the  subjects,  though  fathers, 
can  have  no  power  over  their  children,  no  right 
to  honour  from  them :  for  it  cannot  be  all  in 
another's  hands,  and  a  part  remain  with  the 
parents.  So  that,  according  to  our  author's 
own  doctrine,  Honour  thy  father  and  mother 
cannot  possibly  be  understood  of  political 
subjection  and  obedience ;  since  the  laws  both 
in  the  Old  and  New  Testament,  that  com- 
manded children  to  honour  and  obey  their 
parents,  were  given  to  such,  whose  fathers 
were  under  civil  government,  and  fellow-sub- 
jects with  them  in  political  societies ;  and  to 
have  bid  them  honour  and  obey  their  parents, 
in  our  authors  sense,  had  been  to  bid  them  be 
subjects  to  those  who  had  no  title  to  it ;  the 
right  to  obedience  from  subjects,  being  all 
vested  in  another ;  and  instead  of  teaching- 
obedience,  this  had  been  to  foment  sedition, 
by  setting  up  powers  that  were  not.  If  there- 
fore this  command,  Honour  thy  father  and 
mother,  concern  political   dominion,  it  directly 


overthrows  our  author's  monarchy ;  since  it 
being-  to  be  paid  by  every  child  to  his  father, 
even  in  society,  every  father  must  necessarily 
have  political  dominion,  and  there  will  be  as 
many  sovereigns  as  there  are  fathers :  besides 
that  the  mother  too  hath  her  title,  which  de- 
stroys the  sovereignty  of  one  supreme  monarch. 
But  if  Honour  thy  father  and  mother  mean 
something  distinct  from  political  power,  as 
necessarily  it  must,  it  is  besides  our  author's 
business,  and  serves  nothing  to  his  purpose. 

§.  66.  Hie  law  that  enjoins  obedience  to  kings 
is  delivered,  says  our  author,  in  the  terms, 
Honour  thy  father,  as  if  all  power  were  ori- 
ginally in  the  father,  Observations,  254.  and 
that  law  is  also  delivered,  say  I,  in  the  terms, 
Honour  thy  mother,  as  if  all  power  were  ori- 
ginally in  the  mother.  I  appeal  whether  the 
argument  be  not  as  good  on  one  side  as  the 
other,  father  and  mother  being  joined  all  along 
in  the  Old  and  New  Testament  wherever  ho- 
nour or  obedience  is  enjoined  children.  Again 
our  author  tells  us,  Observations,  254.  that  this 
command,  Honour  thy  father  gives  the  right,  to 
govern,  and  makes  the  form  of  government  mo- 
narchical. ■  To  which  I  answer,  that  if  by 
Honour  thy  father  be  meant  obedience  to  the 
political  power  of  the  magistrate,  it  concerns 
not  any  duty  we  owe  to  our  natural  fathers, 
who  are  subjects ;  because  they,  by  our  author's 
doctrine,  are  divested  of  all  that  power,  it 
being  placed  wholly  in  the  prince,  and  so  being 


equally  subjects  and  slaves  with  their  children, 
can  have  no  right,  by  that  title,  to  any  such 
honour  or  obedience,  as  contains  in  it  political 
subjection :  if  Honour  thy  father  and  mother 
signifies  the  duty  we  owe  our  natural  parents, 
as  by  our  Saviour's  interpretation,  Matlli.  xv. 
4.  and  all  the  other  mentioned  places,  it  is 
plain  it  does,  then  it  cannot  concern  political 
obedience,  but  a  duty  that  is  owing  to  persons, 
who  have  no  title  to  sovereignty,  nor  any 
political  authority  as  magistrates  over  subjects. 
For  the  person  of  a  private  father,  and  a  title 
to  obedience,  due  to  the  supreme  magistrate, 
are  things  inconsistent ;  and  therefore  this 
command,  which  must  necessarily  comprehend 
the  persons  of  our  natural  fathers,  must  mean  a 
duty  we  owe  them  distinct  from  our  obedience 
to  the  magistrate,  and  from  which  the  most 
absolute  power  of  princes  cannot  absolve  us. 
What  this  duty  is,  we  shall  in  its  due  place 

§.  67.  And  thus  we  have  at  last  got  through 
all,  that  in  our  author  looks  like  an  argument  for 
that  absolute  unlimited  sovereignty  described, 
Sect.  8.  which  he  supposes  in  Adam;  so  that 
mankind  ever  since  have  been  all  born  slaves, 
without  any  title  to  freedom.  But  if  creation, 
which  gave  nothing  but  a  being,  made  not 
Adam  prince  of  his  posterity :  if  Adam,  Gen.  i. 
28.  was  not  constituted  lord  of  mankind,  nor 
had  a  private  dominion  given  him  exclusive  of 
his  children,  but   only  a  right  and   power  over 


the  earth,  and  inferior  creatures  in  common 
with  the  children  of  men ;  if  also  Gen.  iii.  16. 
God  gave  not  any  political  power  to  Adam 
over  his  wife  and  children,  but  only  subjected 
Eve  to  Adam,  as  a  punishment,  or  foretold  the 
subjection  of  the  weaker  sex,  in  the  ordering 
the  common  concernments  of  their  families, 
but  gave  not  thereby  to  Adam,  as  to  the  hus- 
band, power  of  life  and  death,  which  necessarily 
belongs  to  the  magistrate:  if  fathers  by  be- 
getting their  children  acquire  no  such  power 
over  them ;  and  if  the  command,  Honour  thy 
father  and  mother,  give  it  not,  but  only  enjoins 
a  duty  owing  to  parents  equally,  whether 
subjects  or  not,  and  to  the  mother  as  well  as 
the  father;  if  all  this  be  so,  as  I  think,  by  what 
has  been  said,  is  very  evident;  then  man  has  a 
natural  freedom,  notwithstanding  all  our  author 
confidently  says  to  the  contrary ;  since  all  that 
share  in  the  same  common  nature,  faculties 
and  powers,  are  in  nature  equal,  and  ought  to 
partake  in  the  same  common  rights  and  privi- 
leges, till  the  manifest  appointment  of  God, 
who  is  Lord  over  all,  blessed  for  ever,  can  be 
produced  to  shew  any  particular  person's 
supremacy ;  or  a  man's  own  consent  subjects 
him  to  a  superior.  This  is  so  plain,  that  our 
author  confesses,  that  Sir  John  Hayivard, 
Blackwood  and  Barclay,  the  great  vindicators 
of  the  right  of  kings,  could  not  deny  it,  but 
admit  ivith  one  consent  the  natural  liberty  and 
equality  of  mankind,  for  a  truth  unquestionable. 


And  our  author  hath  been  so  far  from  produ- 
cing any  tiling*,  that  may  make  good  his  great 
position  that  Adam  was  absolute  monarch,  and 
so  men  are  not  naturally  free,  that  even  his  own 
proofs  make  against  him ;  so  that  to  use  his 
own  way  of  arguing,  the  Jirst  erroneous  prin- 
ciplefailing,  the  whole  fabric  of  this  vast  engine 
of  absolute  power  and  tyranny  drops  down  of 
itself  and  there  needs  no  more  to  be  said  in 
answer  to  all  that  he  builds  upon  so  false  and 
frail  a  foundation. 

§.  68.  But  to  save  others  the  pains,  were 
there  any  need,  he  is  not  sparing  himself  to 
shew,  by  his  own  contradictions,  the  weak- 
ness of  his  own  doctrine.  Adams  absolute 
and  sole  dominion  is  that,  which  he  is  every 
where  full  of,  and  all  along  builds  on,  and  yet 
he  tells  us,  p.  12.  that  as  Adam  was  lord  of 
his  children,  so  his  children  under  him  had  a 
command  and  power  over  their  own  children. 
The  unlimited  and  undivided  sovereignty  of 
Adams  fatherhood,  by  our  author's  computa- 
tion, stood  but  a  little  while,  only  during  the 
first  generation,  but  as  soon  as  he  had  grand- 
children, Sir  Robert  could  give  but  a  very  ill 
account  of  it.  Adam,  asjather  of  his  children, 
saith  he,  hath  an  absolute,  unlimited  royal 
power  over  them,  and  by  virtue  thereof  over 
those  that  they  begot,  and  so  to  all  generations  ; 
and  yet  his  children,  viz.  Cain  and  Seth,  have 
a  paternal  power  over  their  children  at  the 
same  lime;    so  that  Ihey  are  at  the  same  time 


absolute  lords,  and  yet  vassals  and  slares; 
Adam  has  all  the  authority,  as  grandfather  of 
the  people,  and  they  have  a  part  of  it  as  fathers 
of  a  part  of  them :  lie  is  absolute  over  them 
and  their  posterity,  by  having-  begotten  them, 
and  yet  they  are  absolute  over  their  own  chil- 
dren by  the  same  title.  No,  says  our  author, 
Adams  children  under  him  had  power  over  their 
own  children,  but  still  with  subordination  to  the 
first  parent.  A  good  distinction  that  sounds 
well,  and  it  is  pity  it  signifies  nothing,  nor  can 
be  reconciled  with  our  author's  words.  I 
readily  grant,  that  supposing  Adams  absolute 
power  over  his  posterity,  any  of  his  children 
might  have  from  him  a  delegated,  and  so  a 
subordinate  power  over  a  part,  or  all  the  rest : 
but  that  cannot  be  the  power  our  author  speaks 
of  here;  it  is  not  a  power  by  grant  and  com- 
mission, but  the  natural  paternal  power  he 
supposes  a  father  to  have  over  his  children. 
For  1.  he  says,  As  Adam  ivas  lord  of  his  chil- 
dren, so  his  children  under  him  had  a  power  over 
their  own  children:  they  were  then  lords  over 
their  own  children  after  the  same  manner,  and 
by  the  same  title,  that  Adam  was,  i.  e.  by  right 
of  generation,  by  right  of  fatherhood.  2.  It  is 
plain  he  means  the  natural  power  of  fathers, 
because  he  limits  it  to  be  only  over  their  own 
children ;  a  delegated  power  has  no  such  limi- 
tation, as  only  over  their  own  children,  it  might 
be  over  others,  as  well  as  their  own  children. 
3.  If  it  were  a  delegated  power,  it  must  ap- 


pear  in  scripture;  but  there  is  no  ground  in 
scripture  to  affirm,  that  Adams  children  had 
any  other  power  over  theirs,  than  what  they 
naturally  had  as  fathers. 

§.  69.  But  that  he  means  here  paternal  power 
and  no  other,  is  past  doubt,  from  the  inference 
he  makes  in  these  words  immediately  following, 
I  see  not  then  hoiv  the  children  of  Adam,  or  of 
any  man  else,  can  be  free  from  subjection  to  their 
'parents.  Whereby  it  appears  that  the  power  on 
one  side,  and  the  subjection  on  the  other,  our 
author  here  speaks  of,  is  that  natural  power \ 
and  subjection  between  parents  and  children: 
for  that  which  every  man's  children  owed, 
could  be  no  other;  and  that  our  author  always 
affirms  to  be  absolute  and  unlimited.  This 
natural  power  of  parents  over  their  children, 
Adam  had  over  his  posterity,  says  our  author; 
and  thispower  of  parents  over  their  children,  his 
children  had  over  theirs  in  his  life-time,  says 
our  author  also;  so  that  Adam,  by  a  natural 
right  of  father,  had  an  absolute  unlimited 
power  over  all  his  posterity,  and  at  the  same 
time  his  children  had  by  the  same  right  abso- 
lute unlimited  power  over  theirs.  Here  then 
are  two  absolute  unlimited  powers  existing  to- 
gether, which  I  would  have  any  body  reconcile 
one  to  another,  or  to  common  sense.  For  the 
salvo  he  has  put  in  of  subordination,  makes  it 
more  absurd  :  To  have  one  absolute,  unlimited, 
nay,  unit  mil  able  power,  in  subordination  to 
another,  is  so   manifest  a   contradiction,    that 


nothing  can  be  more.  Adam  is  absolute  prince 
ivith  the  unlimited  authority  of  fatherhood  over 
all  his  posterity;  all  his  posterity  are  then 
absolutely  his  subjects;  and,  as  our  author 
says,  his  slaves,  children,  and  grandchildren, 
are  equally  in  this  state  of  subjection  and 
slavery ;  and  yet,  says  our  anthor,  the  chil- 
dren of  Adam  have  paternal,  i.  c.  absolute  un- 
limited power  over  their  own  children :  which 
in  plain  English  is,  they  are  slaves  and  abso- 
lute princes  at  the  same  time,  and  in  the  same 
government ;  and  one  part  of  the  subjects  have 
an  absolute  unlimited  power  over  the  other  by 
the  natural  right  of  parentage. 

<§.  70.  If  any  one  will  suppose,  in  favour  of 
our  author,  that  he  here  meant,  that  parents, 
who  are  in  subjection  themselves  to  the  abso- 
lute authority  of  their  father,  have  yet  some 
power  over  their  children;  I  confess  he  is 
something  nearer  the  truth :  but  he  will  not  at 
all  hereby  help  our  author:  for  he  no  where 
speaking  of  the  paternal  power,  but  as  an 
absolute  unlimited  authority,  cannot  be  sup- 
posed to  understand  any  thing  else  here,  unless 
he  himself  had  limited  it,  and  shewed  how 
far  it  reached.  And  that  he  means  here  pater- 
nal authority  in  that  large  extent,  is  plain  from 
the  immediately  following  words ;  This  sub- 
jection of  children  being,  says  he,  the  founda- 
tion of  all  regal  authority,  p.  J  2.  the  subjection 
then  that  in  the  former  line,  he  says,  every  man  is 
in  to  his  parents,  and  consequently  what  Adam's 


grand-children  were  in  to  their  parents,  was 
that  which  was  the  fountain  of  all  regal  au- 
thority, i.  e.  according  to  our  author,  absolute 
unlimited  authority.  And  thus  Adams  chil- 
dren had  regal  authority  over  their  children, 
whilst  they  themselves  were  subjects  to  their 
father,  and  fellow-subjects  with  their  children. 
But  let  him  mean  as  he  pleases,  it  is  plain  he 
allows  Adam 's  children  to  have  paternal  power y 
p.  12.  as  also  all  other  fathers  to  have  paternal 
power  over  their  children,  Observations,  156. 
From  whence  one  of  these  two  things  will 
necessarily  follow,  that  either  Adam's  children, 
even  in  his  life-time,  had,  and  so  all  fathers 
have,  as  he  phrases  it,  p.  12.  by  right  of  father- 
hood, royal  authority  over  their  children,  or 
else,  that  Adam,  by  right  of  fatherhood,  had 
not  royal  authority.  For  it  cannot  be  but  that 
paternal  power  does,  or  does  not,  give  royal 
authority  to  them  that  have  it :  if  it  does  not, 
then  Adam  could  not  be  sovereign  by  this  title, 
nor  any  body  else ;  and  then  there  is  an  end 
of  all  our  author's  politics  at  once :  if  it  does 
give  royal  authority,  then  every  one  that  has  pa- 
ternal power,  has  royal  authority ;  and  then  by 
our  authors  patriarchal  government,  there  will 
be  as  many  kings  as  there  are  fathers. 

§.71.  And  thus  what  a  monarchy  he  hath 
set  up,  let  him  and  his  disciples  consider. 
Princes  certainly  will  have  great  reason  to 
thank  him  for  these  new  politics,  which  set  up 
as   many  absolute  kings   in  every  country   as 


there  are  fathers  of  children.  And  yet  who 
can  blame  our  author  for  it,  it  lying  unavoid- 
ably in  the  way  of  one  discoursing  upon  our 
author's  principles  ?  For  having  placed  an  ab- 
solute power  in  fathers  by  right  of  begetting, 
he  could  not  easily  resolve  how  much  of  this 
power  belonged  to  a  son  over  the  children  he 
had  begotten  ;  and  so  it  fell  out  to  be  a  hard 
matter  to  give  all  the  power,  as  he  does,  to 
Adam,  and  yet  allow  a  part  in  his  life-time 
to  his  children,  when  they  were  parents,  and 
which  he  knew  not  well  how  to  deny  them. 
This  makes  him  so  doubtful  in  his  expressions, 
and  so  uncertain  where  to  place  this  absolute 
natural  power,  which  he  calls  fatherhood. 
Sometimes  Adam  alone  has  it  all,  as  p.  13. 
Observations,  244,  245.  6f  Pre/. 

Sometimes  parents  have  it,  which  word  scarce 
signifies  the  father  alone,  p.  12,  19. 

Sometimes  children  during  their  fathers  life- 
time, as  p.  12. 

Sometimes  fathers  of  families,  as  p.  78,  &79. 

Sometimes  fathers  indefinitely,  Observations, 

Sometimes  the  heir  to  Adam,  Observations, 

Sometimes  the  posterity  o/*Adam,  244,  246. 

Sometimes  prime  fathers,  all  sons  or  grand- 
children o/'Noah,  Observations,  244. 

Sometimes  the  eldest  parents,  p.  12, 

Sometimes  all  kings,  p.  19. 



Sometimes  all  that  have  supreme  power,  Ob- 
servations, 245. 

Sometimes  heirs  to  those  first  progenitors, 
who  were  at  first  the  natural  parents  of  the 
whole  people,  p.  19. 

Sometimes  an  elective  king,  p.  23. 

Sometimes  those,  whether  a  few  or  a  multi- 
titude,  that  govern  the  commonwealth,  p.  23. 

Sometimes  he  that  can  catch  it,  an  usurper, 
p.  23.    Observations,  155. 

§.  72.  Thus  this  neiv  nothing,  that  is  to  carry 
with  it  all  power,  authority,  and  government; 
this  fatherhood,  which  is  to  design  the  person, 
and  establish  the  throne  of  monarch's,  whom 
the  people  are  to  obey,  may,  according  to  Sir 
Robert,  come  into  any  hands,  any  how,  and  so 
by  his  politics  give  to  democracy  royal  autho- 
rity, and  make  an  usurper  a  lawful  prince. 
And  if  it  will  do  all  these  fine  feats,  much 
good  do  our  author  and  all  his  followers  with 
their  omnipotent  fatherhood,  which  can  serve 
for  nothing  but  to  unsettle  and  destroy  all  the 
lawful  governments  in  the  world,  and  to  es- 
tablish in  their  room  disorder,  tyranny,  and 



Of  Fatherhood  and  Property  considered 
together  as  Fountains  of  Sovereignty. 

§.  73.  In  the  foregoing  chapters  we  have 
seen  what  Adam's  monarchy  was,  in  our  au- 
thor's opinion,  and  upon  what  titles  he  founded 
it.  The  foundations  which  he  lays  the  chief 
stress  on,  as  those  from  which  he  thinks  he 
may  derive  monarchical  power  to  future  princes, 
are  two,  viz.  Fatherhood  and  property:  and 
therefore  the  way  he  proposes  to  remove  the  ab- 
surdities and  inconveniencies  of  the  doctrine  of 
natural  freedom^  is,  to  maintain  the  natural  and 
private  dominion  of  Adam,  Observations,  222. 
Conformable  hereunto,  he  tells  us,  the  grounds 
and  jjrinciplcs  of  government  necessarily  depend 
upon  the  original  of  property.  Observations, 
108.  The  subjection  of  children  to  their  pa- 
rents is  the  fountain  of  all  regal  authority,  p.  12. 
And  all  power  on  earth  is  either  derived  or 
usurped  from  the  fatherly  poiver,  their  being  no 
other  original  to  be  found  of  any  power  what- 
soever, Observations,  158.  I  will  not  stand 
here  to  examine  how  it  can  be  said  without  a 
contradiction,  that  the  first  grounds  and  princi- 
ples of  government  necessarily  depend  upon  the 
original  of  property,  and  yet,  that  there  is  no  other 
original  of  any  power  whatsoever,  but  that  of 
the  father ;  it  being  hard  to  understand   how 

g  2 


there  can  be  no  other  original  but  fatherhood, 
and  yet  that  the  grounds  and  principles  of  go- 
vernment depend  upon  the  original  of  property ; 
property  and  fatherhood  being-  as  far  different 
as  lord  of  a  manor  and  father  of  children. 
Nor  do  I  see  how  they  will  either  of  them 
agree  with  what  our  author  says,  Observations* 
244.  of  God's  sentence  against  Eve,  Gen.  iii.  16. 
That  it  is  the  original  grant  of  government : 
so  that  if  that  were  the  original,  government 
had  not  its  original,  by  our  authors  own  con- 
fession, cither  from  property  or  fatherhood  : 
and  this  text,  which  he  brings  as  a  proof  of 
Adam's  power  over  Eve,  necessarily  contradicts 
what  he  says  of  the  fatherhood,  that  it  is  the 
sole  fountain  of  all  poiuer :  for  if  Adam  had 
any  such  regal  power  over  Eve,  as  our  author 
contends  for,  it  must  be  by  some  other  title 
than  that  of  begetting. 

§.  74.  But  I  leave  him  to  reconcile  these 
contradictions,  as  well  as  many  others,  which 
may  plentifully  be  found  in  him  by  any  one, 
who  will  but  read  him  with  a  little  attention ; 
and  shall  come  now  to  consider,  how  these 
two  originals  of  government,  Adams  natural 
and  private  dominion,  will  consist,  and  serve 
to  make  out  and  establish  the  titles  of  suc- 
ceeding monarchs,  who,  as  our  author  obliges 
them,  must  all  derive  their  power  from  these 
fountains.  Let  us  then  suppose  Adam  made, 
by  God's  donation,  lord  and  sole  proprietor  of 
the  whole  earth,  in  as  large  and  ample  a  manner 


as  Sir  ^Robert  could  wish;  let  us  suppose  him 
also,  by  right  of  fatherhood,  absolute  ruler  over 
his  children  with  au  unlimited  supremacy;  I 
ask  then,  upon  Adams  death  what  becomes 
of  both  his  natural  and  private  dominion?  and 
I   doubt   not  it   will    be    answered,   that  they 
descended  to  his  next  heir,  as  our  author  tells 
us  in  several  places.     But  this  way,  it  is  plain, 
cannot  possibly  convey  both  his  natural  and 
private  dominion  to  the  same  person  :  for  should 
we  allow,  that  all  the  property,   all  the  estate 
of  the  father,    ought  to  descend  to  the   eldest 
son,  (which  will  need  some  proof  to   establish 
it)  and  so  he  has  by  that  title  all  the  private  do- 
minion of  the  father,  yet    the    father's    natural 
dominion,   the  paternal   power  cannot  descend 
to  him  by  inheritance :  for  it  being  a  right  that 
accrues  to  a  man  ouly  by  begetting,  no  man 
can  have  this  natural  dominion  over  any  one 
he  does   not  beget;  unless  it  can  be  supposed, 
that  a  man  can  have  a  right  to  any  thing,  with- 
out doing  that  upon  which  that  right  is  solely 
founded :  for  if  a  father  by  begetting,  and  no 
other  title,  has  natural  dominion  over  his  chil- 
dren, he  that  does  not  beget  them  cannot  have 
this  natural  dominion  over  them  ;  and  therefore 
be  it  true  or  false,  that  our  author  says,   Obser- 
vations, 1 5t>.     That  every  man  that  is  born,  by 
his  very  birth  becomes  subject  to  him  that  begets 
him,  this  necessarily  follows,  viz.     That  a  man 
by  his   birth  cannot  become   a  subject  to   his 
brother,  who  did  not  beget  him ;  unless  it  can 


be  supposed  that  a  man  by  the  very  same  title 
can  come  to  be  under  the  natural  and  absolute 
dominion  of  two  different  men  at  once ;  or  it 
be  sense  to  say,  that  a  man  by  birth  is  under 
the  natural  dominion  of  his  father,  only  be- 
cause he  begat  him,  and  a  man  by  birth  also 
is  under  the  natural  dominion  of  his  eldest 
brother,  though  he  did  not  beget  him. 

§.  75.  If  then  the  private  dominion  of  Adam, 
i.  e.  his  property  in  the  creatures,  descended 
at  his  death  all  entirely  to  his  eldest  son,  his 
heir ;  (for,  if  it  did  not,  there  is  presently  an 
end  of  all  Sir  Robert's  monarchy)  and  his 
natural  dominion,  the  dominion  a  father  has 
over  his  children  by  begetting  them,  belonged 
immediately,  upon  Adams  decease,  equally  to 
all  his  sons  who  had  children,  by  the  same 
title  their  father  had  it,  the  sovereignty  founded 
upon  property,  and  the  sovereignty  founded 
upon  fatherhood,  come  to  be  divided  ;  since 
Cain,  as  heir,  had  that  or  property  alone; 
Seth,  and  the  other  sons,  that  of  fatherhood 
equally  with  him.  This  is  the  best  that  can 
be  made  of  our  authors  doctrine,  and  of  the 
two  titles  of  sovereignty  he  sets  up  in  Adam  : 
one  of  them  Will  either  signify  nothing  ;  or, 
if  (hey  both  must  stand,  they  can  serve  only 
to  confound  the  rights  of  princes,  and  disorder 
government  in  his  posterity :  for  by  building 
upon  two  titles  to  dominion,  which  cannot 
descend  together,  and  which  he  allows  may 
be  separated,  (for  he  yields  that  Adam's  chil- 


dren  had  their  distinct  territories  by  right  of 
private  dominion,  Observations,  210,  p.  40.) 
he  makes  it  perpetually  a  doubt  upon  his  prin- 
ciples where  the  sovereignty  is,  or  to  whom 
we  owe  our  obedience,  since  fatherhood  and 
property  are  distinct  titles,  and  began  presently 
upon  Adams  death  to  be  in  distinct  persons. 
And  which  then  was  to  give  way  to  the  other? 
§.  76.  Let  us  take  the  account  of  it,  as  he 
himself  gives  it  us.  He  tells  us  out  of  Grotius, 
That  Adams  children  by  donation,  assignation, 
or  some  kind  of  cession  before  he  was  dead,  had 
their  distinct  territories  by  right  of  private 
dominion;  Abel  had  his  flocks  and  pastures  for 
them :  Cain  had  his  fields  for  corn,  and  the 
land  of  Nod,  where  he  built  him  a  city,  Obser- 
vations, 210.  Here  it  is  obvious  to  demand, 
which  of  these  two  after  Adams  death  was 
sovereign?  Cain,  says  our  author,  p.  19.  By 
what  title ?  As  heir ;  for  heirs  to  progenitors, 
ivho  ivere  natural  parents  of  their  people,  are 
not  only  lords  of  their  own  children,  but  also  of 
their  brethren,  says  our  author,  p.  19.  What 
was  Cain  heir  to?  Not  the  entire  possessions, 
not  all  that  which  Adam  had  private  dominion 
in ;  for  our  author  allows  that  Abel  by  a  title 
derived  from  his  father,  had  his  distinct  terri- 
tory for  pasture  by  right  of  private  dominion. 
What  then  Abel  had  by  private  dominion,  was 
exempt  from  Cain's  dominion  :  for  he  could 
not  have  private  dominion  over  that  which  was 
under  the  private  dominion   of  another;    and 


therefore  his  sovereignty  over  his  brother  is 
gone  with  this  private  dominion,  and  so  there  are 
presently  two  sovereigns,  and  his  imaginary 
title  of  fatherhood  is  out  of  doors,  and  Cain 
is  no  prince  over  his  brother :  or  else,  if  Cain 
retain  his  sovereignty  over  Abel,  notwithstand- 
ing his  private  dominion,  it  will  follow,  that 
the  first  grounds  and  principles  of  government 
have  nothing  to  do  with  property,  whatever  our 
author  says  to  the  contrary.  Jt  is  true,  Abel 
did  not  outlive  his  father  Adam;  but  that 
makes  nothing  to  the  argument,  which  will 
hold  good  against  Sir  Robert  in  Abels  issue, 
or  in  Seth,  or  any  of  the  posterity  of  Adam% 
not  descended  from  Cain. 

\.  77.  The  same  inconvenience  he  runs  into 
about  the  three  sons  of  Noah,  who,  as  he  says, 
p.  13.  had  the  whole  world  divided  amongst 
them  by  their  father.  I  ask  then,  in  which  of 
the  three  shall  we  find  the  establishment  of 
regal  poiver  after  Noah's  death?  If  in  all  three, 
as  our  author  there  seems  to  say ;  then  it  will 
follow,  that  regal  power  is  founded  in  property 
of  land,  and  follows  private  dominion,  and  not 
in  paternal  power,  or  natural  dominion;  and  so 
there  is  an  end  of  paternal  power  as  the 
fountain  of  regal  authority,  and  the  so-much- 
magnified  fatherhood  quite  vanishes.  If  the 
regal  power  descended  to  Shem  as  eldest,  and 
heir  to  his  father,  then  NoaJts  division  of  the 
world  by  lot,  to  his  sons  or  his  ten  years  sailing 
about  the  Mediterranean  to  appoint  each  son 


his  part,  which  our  author  tells  of,  p.  15.  was 
labour  lost;  his  division  of  the  world  to  them, 
was  to  ill,  or  to  no  purpose:  for  his  grant  to 
Cham  and  Japhel  was  little  worth,  if  Shem, 
notwithstanding  this  grant,  as  soon  as  Noah 
was  dead,  was  to  be  lord  over  them.  Or,  if 
this  grant  of  private  dominion  to  them,  over 
their  assigned  territories,  were  good,  here  were 
set  up  two  distinct  sorts  of  power,  not  subor- 
dinate one  to  the  other,  with  all  those  incon- 
veniencies  which  he  musters  up  against  the 
potter  of  the  people,  Observations,  158.  which  I 
shall  set  down  in  his  own  words,  only  changing 
property  for  people.  All  power  on  earth  is  either 
derived  or  usurped  from  the  fatherly  power,  there 
being  no  other  original  to  be  found  of  any  power 
whatsoever :  for  if  there  should  be  granted  two 
sorts  of  power,  without  any  subordination  of  one 
to  the  other,  they  ivould  be  in  perpetual  strife 
which  should  be  supreme,  for  two  supremes  can- 
not agree:  if  the  fatherly  power  be  supreme,  then 
the  power  grounded  on  private  dominion  must  be 
subordinate,  and  depend  on  it;  and  if  the  power 
grounded  on  property  besupreme,  then  the  father- 
ly power  must  submit  to  it,  and  cannot  be  exercised 
without  the  licence  of  the  proprietors,  ivhich  must 
quite  destroy  the  frame  and  course  of  nature. 
This  is  his  own  arguing  against  two  distinct  inde- 
pendent powers,  which  I  have  set  down  in  his 
own  words,  only  putting  power  rising  from  pro- 
perty, for  power  of  I  he  people ;  and  when  he  has 
answered  what  he  himself  has  urged  here  against 


two  distinct  powers,  we  shall  be  better  able  to 
see  how,  with  any  tolerable  sense,  he  can 
derive  all  regal  authority  from  the  natural  and 
private  dominion  of  Adam,  from  fatherhood  and 
pr&perty  together,  which  are  distinct  titles,  that 
do  not  always  meet  in  the  same  person;  and 
it  is  plain,  by  his  own  confession,  presently 
separated  as  soon  both  as  Adams  and  Noatis 
death  made  way  for  succession :  though  our 
author  frequently  in  his  writings  jumbles  them 
together,  and  omits  not  to  make  use  of  either, 
where  he  thinks  it  will  sound  best  to  his 
purpose.  But  the  absurdities  of  this  will  more 
fully  appear  in  the  next  chapter,  where  we 
shall  examine  the  ways  of  conveyance  of  the 
sovereignty  of  Adam,  to  princes  that  were  to 
reiiiu  after  him. 



Of  the  Conveyance  of  Adams  Sovereign 
Monarchical  Power. 

§.  78.  Sir  Robert,  not  having  been  very 
happy  in  any  proof  he  brings  for  the  sovereign- 
ty of  Adam,  is  not  much  more  fortunate  in 
conveying  it  to  future  princes,  who,  if  his 
politics  be  true,  must  all  derive  their  titles 
from  that  first  monarch.  The  ways  he  has 
assigned,  as  they  lie  scattered  up  and  down  in 
his  writings,  I  will  set  down  in  his  own  words : 
in  his   preface   he   tells  us,  That  Adam  being 


monarch  of  the  ivhole  world,  none  of  his  poste- 
rity had  any  right  to  j^ossess  any  thing,  but  by 
his  grant  or  permission,  or  by  succession  from 
him.  Here  he  makes  two  ways  of  conveyance 
of  any  thing  Adam  stood  possessed  of;  and 
those  are  grants  or  succession.  Again  he  says, 
All  kings  either  are,  or  are  to  be  reputed,  the 
next  heirs  to  those  first  progenitors,  ivho  were 
at  first  the  natural  parents  of  the  ivhole  people, 
p.  19.  There  cannot  be  any  multitude  of  men 
whatsoever,  but  that  in  it,  considered  by  itself 
there  is  one  man  amongst  them,  that  in  nature 
hath  a  right  to  be  the  king  of  all  the  rest,  as 
being  the  next  heir  to  Adam,  Observations,  253. 
Here  in  these  places  inheritance  is  the  only 
way  he  allows  of  conveying-  monarchical  power 
to  princes.  In  other  places  he  tells  ns,  Obser- 
vations, 155.  All  power  on  earth  is  either 
derived  or  usurped  from  the  fatherly  power, 
Observations,  158.  All  kings  that  now  are, 
or  ever  were,  are  or  were  either  fathers  of  their 
people,  or  heirs  of  such  fathers,  or  usurpers  of  the 
right  of  such  fathers,  Observations,  253.  And 
here  he  makes  inheritance  or  usurpation  the 
only  ways  whereby  kings  come  by  this  original 
power:  but  yet  he  tells  us,  This  fatherly  empire, 
as  it  ivas  of  itself  hereditary,  so  it  was  alienable 
by  patent  and  seizable  by  an  usurper,  Observa- 
tions, 190.  So  then  here  inheritance,  grant, 
or  usurpation,  will  convey  it.  And  last  of  all, 
which  is  most  admirable,  he  tells  us,  p.  100. 
It  skills  not  which    way  kings  come  by  their 


poiver,  whether  by  election,  donation,  succession, 
or  by  any  other  means ;  for  it  is  still  the  manner 
of  the  government  by  supreme  power,  that  makes 
them  properly  kings,  and  not  the  means  oj 
obtaining  their  crowns.  Which  I  think  is  a  full 
answer  to  all  his  whole  hypothesis  and  discourse 
about  Adams  royal  authority,  as  the  fountain 
from  which  all  princes  are  to  derive  theirs: 
and  he  might  have  spared  the  trouble  of  speak- 
ing- so  much  as  he  does,  up  and  down,  of  heirs 
and  inheritance,  if  to  make  one  properly  a  king, 
needs  no  more  but  governing  by  supreme 
poiver,  and  it  matters  jwt  by  what  means  he 
came  by  it. 

§.  79.  By  this  notable  way,  our  author  may 
make  Oliver  as  properly  king,  as  any  one  else 
he  could  think  of:  and  had  he  had  the  happi- 
ness to  live  under  Massanetta's  government,  he 
could  not  by  this  his  own  rule  have  forborn 
to  have  done  homage  to  him,  with  O  king  live 
for  ever,  since  the  manner  of  his  government 
by  supreme  power,  made  him  properly  king, 
who  was  but  the  day  before  properly  a  fisher- 
man. And  if  Don  Quixote  had  taught  his 
squire  to  govern  with  supreme  authority,  our 
author  no  doubt  could  have  made  a  most  loyal 
subject  in  Sancho  Pancluis  island;  and  he 
must  needs  have  deserved  some  preferment  in 
such  governments,  since  I  think  he  is  the  first 
politician,  who,  pretending  to  settle  government 
upon  its  true  basis,  and  to  establish  the  thrones 
of  lawful  princes.,  ever  told  the  world.  Thai  he 


was  properly  a  king,  whose  manner  of  govern- 
ment was  by  supreme  power,  by  what  means  soever 
he  obtained  it :  which  in  plain  English  is  to  say, 
that  regal  and  supreme  power  is  properly  and 
truly  his,  who  can  by  any  means  seize  upon  it; 
and  if  this  be  to  be  properly  a  king,  1  wonder 
how  he  came  to  think  of,  or  where  lie  will  find, 
an  usurper. 

§.  80.  This  is  so  strange  a  doctrine,  that  the 
surprise  of  it  hath  made  me  pass  by,  without 
their  due  reflection,  the  contradictions  he  runs 
into,  by  making  sometimes  inheritance  alone, 
sometimes  only  grant  or  inheritance,  sometimes 
only  inheritance  or  usurpation,  sometimes  all 
these  three,  and  at  last  election,  or  any  other 
means,  added  to  them,  whereby  Adams  royal 
authority,  that  is,  his  right  to  supreme  rule, 
could  be  conveyed  down  to  future  kings  and 
governors,  so  as  to  give  them  a  title  to  the 
obedience  and  subjection  of  the  people.  But 
these  contradictions  lie  so  open,  that  the  very 
reading  of  our  author's  own  words  will  dis- 
cover them  to  any  ordinary  understanding; 
and  though  what  I  have  quoted  out  of  him 
(with  abundance  more  of  the  same  strain  and 
coherence  which  might  be  found  in  him)  might 
well  excuse  me  from  any  farther  trouble  in  this 
argument,  yet  having  proposed  to  myself,  to 
examine  the  main  parts  of  his  doctrine,  I  shall 
a  little  more  particularly  consider  how  inheri- 
tance, grant,  usurpation,  or  election,  can  any 
way  make  out  government  in  the  world  upon 


his  principles ;  or  derive  to  any  one  a  right  of 
empire  from  this  regal  authority  of  Adam,  had 
it  been  never  so  well  proved,  that  he  had  been 
absolute  monarch,  and  lord  of  the  whole 


Of  Monarchy  by  Inheritance  from  Adam. 

§.81.  Though  it  be  never  so  plain,  that 
there  ought  to  be  government  in  the  world, 
nay,  should  all  men  be  of  our  author's  mind, 
that  divine  appointment  had  ordained  it  to  be 
monarchical;  yet,  since  men  cannot  obey  any 
thing,  that  cannot  command ;  and  ideas  of 
government  in  the  fancy,  though  never  so  per- 
fect, though  never  so  right,  cannot  give  laws, 
nor  prescribe  rules  to  the  actions  of  men ;  it 
would  be  of  no  behoof  for  the  settling  of  order, 
and  establishing  of  government  in  its  exercise 
and  use  amongst  men,  unless  there  were  a  way 
also  taught  how  to  knowr  the  person,  to  whom 
it  belonged  to  have  this  power,  and  exercise 
this  dominion  over  others.  It  is  in  vain  then 
to  talk  of  subjection  and  obedience  without 
telling  us  whom  we  are  to  obey :  for  were  I 
never  so  fully  persuaded  that  there  ought  to 
be  magistracy  and  rule  in  the  world ;  yet  I  am 
nevertheless  at  liberty  still,  till  it  appears  who 
is  the  person  that  hath  right  to  my  obedience ; 
since,  if  there  be  no  marks  to  know  him  bv, 


and  distinguish  him  that  hath  right  to  rule 
from  other  men,  it  may  be  myself,  as  well  as 
any  other.  And  therefore,  though  submission 
to  government  be  every  one's  duty,  yet  since  that 
signifies  nothing  but  submitting  to  the  direction 
and  laws  of  such  men  as  have  authority  to  com- 
mand, it  is  not  enough  to  make  a  man  a  subject, 
to  convince  him  that  there  is  a  regal  power  hi  the 
world  ;  but  there  must  be  ways  of  designing, 
and  knowing  the  person  to  whom  this  regal 
power  of  right  belongs :  and  a  man  can  never 
be  obliged  in  conscience  to  submit  to  any 
power,  unless  he  can  be  satisfied  who  is  the 
person  who  has  a  right  to  exercise  that  power 
over  him.  If  this  were  not  so,  there  would 
be  no  distinction  between  pirates  and  lawful 
princes  ;  he  that  has  force  is  without  any  more 
ado  to  be  obeyed,  and  crowns  and  sceptres 
would  become  the  inheritance  only  of  violence 
and  rapine.  Men  too  might  as  often  and  as 
innocently  change  their  governors,  as  they  do 
their  physicians,  if  the  person  cannot  be  known 
who  has  a  right  to  direct  me,  and  whose 
prescriptions  I  am  bound  to  follow.  To  settle 
therefore  men's  consciences,  under  an  obliga- 
tion to  obedience,  it  is  necessary  that  they 
know  not  only,  that  there  is  a  power  somewhere 
in  the  world,  but  the  person  who  by  right  is 
vested  with  this  power  over  them. 

§.  82.  How  successful  our  author  has  been 
in  his  attempts,  to  set  up  a  monarchical  absolute 
potter  in  Adam,  the  reader  may  judge  by  what 


has  been  already  said  ;  but  were  that  absolute 
monarchy  as  clear  as  our  author  would  desire 
it,  as  I  presume  it  is  the  contrary,  yet  it  could 
be  of  no  use  to  the  government  of  mankind  now 
in  the  world,  unless  he  also  make  out  these 
two  things. 

First,  That  this  power  of  Adam  was  not  to 
end  with  him,  but  was  upon  his  decease  con- 
veyed intire  to  some  other  person,  and  so  on 
to  posterity. 

Secondly,  That  the  princes  and  rulers  now 
on  earth  are  possessed  of  this  power  of  Adam, 
by  a  right  way  of  conveyance  derived  to  them. 

§.  83.  If  the  first  of  these  fail,  the  power  of 
Adam,  were  it  never  so  great,  never  so  certain, 
will  signify  nothing  to  the  present  government 
and  societies  in  the  world ;  but  we  must  seek 
out  some  other  original  of  power  for  the  govern- 
ment of  politys  than  this  of  Adam,  or  else 
there  will  be  none  at  all  in  the  world.  If  the 
latter  fail,  it  will  destroy  the  authority  of  the 
present  governors,  and  absolve  the  people  from 
subjection  to  them,  since  they,  having  no  better 
a  claim  than  others  to  that  power,  which  is 
alone  the  fountain  of  all  authority,  can  have  no 
title  to  rule  over  them. 

§.  84.  Our  author,  having  fancied  an  abso- 
lute sovereignty  in  Adam,  mentions  several 
ways  of  its  conveyance  to  princes,  that  were  to 
be  his  successors  ;  but  that  which  lie  chiefly 
insists  on,  is  that  of  inheritance,  which  occurs 
so  often  in  his  several  discourses  ;  and  I  having 


in  the  foregoing  chapter  quoted  several  of 
these  passages,  I  shall  not  need  here  again  to 
repeat  them.  This  sovereignty  he  erects,  as 
has  been  said,  upon  a  double  foundation,  viz. 
that  of  property,  and  that  of  fat  her  hood.  One 
was  the  right  he  was  supposed  to  have  in  all 
creatures,  a  right  to  possess  the  earth  with  the 
beasts,  and  other  inferior  ranks  of  things  in  it, 
for  his  private  use,  exclusive  of  all  other  men. 
The  other  was  the  right  he  was  supposed  to 
have,  to  rule  and  govern  men,  all  the  rest  of 

§.  85.  In  both  these  rights,  there  being  sup- 
posed an  exclusion  of  all  other  men,  it  must  be 
upon  some  reason  peculiar  to  Adam,  that  they 
must  both  be  founded. 

That  of  his  property  our  author  supposes  to 
arise  from  Gods  immediate  donation,  Gen.  i. 
28.  and  that  of  fatherhood  from  the  act  of 
begetting:  now  in  all  inheritance,  if  the  heir 
succeed  not  to  the  reason  upon  which  his 
father's  right  was  founded,  he  cannot  succeed 
to  the  right  which  followeth  from  it.  For  ex- 
ample, Adam  had  a  right  of  property  in  the 
creatures  upon  the  donation  and  grant  of  God 
almighty,  who  was  lord  and  proprietor  of  them 
all :  let  this  be  so  as  our  author  tells  us,  yet 
upon  his  death  his  heir  can  have  no  title  to 
them,  no  such  right  of  property  in  them,  unless 
the  same  reason,  viz.  God's  donation,  vested  a 
right  in  the  heir  too :  for  if  Adam  could  have 
had  no  property  in,  nor  use  of  the  creatures, 



without  this  positive  donation  from  God,  and 
this  donation  were  only  personally  to  Adam, 
his  heir  could  have  no  right  by  it ;  but  upon 
his  death  it  must  revert  to  God,  the  lord  and 
owner  again ;  for  positive  grants  give  no  title 
farther  than  the  express  words  convey  it,  and 
by  which  only  it  is  held.  And  thus,  as  if  our 
author  himself  contends,  that  donation,  Gen.  i. 
28.  were  made  only  to  Adam  personally,  his 
heir  could  not  succeed  to  his  property  in  the 
creatures ;  and  if  it  were  a  donation  to  any 
but  Adam,  let  it  be  shewn,  that  it  was  to  his 
heir  in  our  author's  sense,  i.  e.  to  one  of  his 
children,  exclusive  of  all  the  rest. 

§.  86.  But  not  to  follow  our  author  too  far 
out  of  the  way,  the  plain  of  the  case  is  this. 
God  having  made  man,  and  planted  in  him, 
as  in  all  other  animals,  a  strong  desire  of  self- 
preservation  ;  and  furnished  the  world  with 
things  fit  for  food  and  raiment,  and  other 
necessaries  of  life,  subservient  to  his  design, 
that  man  should  live  and  abide  for  some  time 
upon  the  face  of  the  earth,  and  not  that  so 
curious  and  wonderful  a  piece  of  workmanship, 
by  his  own  negligence,  or  want  of  necessaries, 
should  perish  again,  presently  after  a  few 
moments  continuance ;  God,  I  say,  having 
made  man  and  the  world  thus,  spoke  to  him, 
(that  is)  directed  him  by  his  senses  and  reason, 
as  he  did  the  inferior  animals  by  their  sense 
and  instinct,  which  were  serviceable  for  his 
subsistence,  and  given  him  as  the  means  of  his 


preservation.  And  therefore  I  doubt  not,  but 
before  these  words  were  pronounced,  Gen.  i. 
28,  29.  (if  they  must  be  understood  literally 
to  have  been  spoken)  and  without  any  such 
verbal  donation,  man  had  a  right  to  an  use  of 
the  creatures,  by  the  will  and  grant  of  God : 
for  the  desire,  strong  desire  of  preserving  his 
life  and  being,  having  been  planted  in  him  as 
a  principle  of  action  by  God  himself,  reason, 
which  ivas  the  voice  of  God  in  him,  could  not 
but  teach  him  and  assure  him,  that  pursuing 
that  natural  inclination  he  had  to  preserve  his 
being,  he  followed  the  will  of  his  Maker,  and 
therefore  had  a  right  to  make  use  of  those 
creatures,  which  by  his  reason  or  senses  he 
could  discover  would  be  serviceable  thereunto. 
And  thus  man's  property  in  the  creatures  was 
founded  upon  the  right  he  had  to  make  use 
of  those  things  that  were  necessary  or  useful 
to  his  being. 

§.  87.  This  being  the  reason  and  foundation 
of  Adams  property,  gave  the  same  title,  on  the 
same  ground,  to  all  his  children,  not  only  after 
his  death,  but  in  his  life-time  :  so  that  here  was 
no  privilege  of  his  heir  above  his  other  chil- 
dren, which  could  exclude  them  from  an  equal 
right  to  the  use  of  the  inferior  creatures,  for 
the  comfortable  preservation  of  their  beings, 
which  is  all  the  property  man  hath  in  them ; 
and  so  Adams  sovereignty  built  on  property, 
or,  as  our  author  calls  it,  private  dominion, 
comes  to  nothing.     Every  man  had  a  right  to 

h  2 


the  creatures,  by  the  same  title  Adam  had,  viz. 
by  the  right  every  one  had  to  take  care  of,  and 
provide  for  their  subsistence:  and  thus  men 
had  a  right  in  common,  Adam's  children  in 
common  with  him.  But  if  any  one  had  began, 
and  made  himself  a  property  in  any  particular 
thing,  (which  how  he,  or  any  one  else,  could 
do,  shall  be  shewn  in  another  place)  that  thing, 
that  possession,  if  he  disposed  not  otherwise 
of  it  by  his  positive  grant,  descended  naturally 
to  his  children,  and  they  had  a  right  to  succeed 
to  it,  and  possess  it. 

§.  88.  It  might  reasonably  be  asked  here, 
how  come  children  by  this  right  of  possessing, 
before  any  other,  the  properties  of  their  parents 
upon  their  decease  ?  for  it  being  personally  the 
parents,  when  they  die,  without  actually  trans- 
ferring their  right  to  another,  why  does  it  not 
return  again  to  the  common  stock  of  mankind  ? 
It  will  perhaps  be  answered,  that  common 
consent  hath  disposed  of  it  to  their  children. 
Common  practice,  we  see  indeed,  does  so  dis- 
pose of  it;  but  we  cannot  say,  that  it  is  the 
common  consent  of  mankind ;  for  that  hath 
never  been  asked,  nor  actually  given;  and  if 
common  tacit  consent  hath  established  it,  it 
would  make  but  a  positive,  and  not  a  natural 
right  of  children  to  inherit  the  goods  of  their 
parents:  but  where  the  practice  is  universal, 
it  is  reasonable  to  think  the  cause  is  natural. 
The  ground  then  I  think  to  be  this.  The  first 
and  strongest  desire  God  planted  in  men,  and 


wrought  into  the  very  principles  of  their  nature, 
being  that  of  self-preservation,  that  is  the 
foundation  of  a  right  to  the  creatures  for  the 
particular  support  and  use  of  each  individual 
person  himself.  But,  next  to  this,  God  planted 
in  men  a  strong  desire  also  of  propagating  their 
kind,  and  continuing  themselves  in  their  pos- 
terity;  and  this  gives  children  a  title  to  share 
in  the  property  of  their  parents,  and  a  right  to 
inherit  their  possessions.  Men  are  not  proprie- 
tors of  what  they  have,  merely  for  themselves; 
their  children  have  a  title  to  part  of  it,  and 
have  their  kind  of  right  joined  with  their 
parents,  in  the  possession  which  comes  to  be 
wholly  theirs,  when  death,  having  put  an  end 
to  their  parents  use  of  it,  hath  taken  them  from 
their  possessions  ;  and  this  we  call  inheritance  : 
men  being  by  a  like  obligation  bound  to  pre- 
serve what  they  have  begotten,  as  to  preserve 
themselves,  their  issue  come  to  have  a  right  in 
the  goods  they  are  possessed  of.  That  chil- 
dren have  such  a  right,  is  plain  from  the  laws 
of  God ;  and  that  men  are  convinced  that 
children  have  such  a  right,  is  evident  from  the 
law  of  the  land ;  both  which  laws  require 
parents  to  provide  for  their  children. 

§.  89.  For  children  being  by  the  course  of 
nature,  born  weak,  and  unable  to  provide  for 
themselves,  they  have  by  the  appointment  of 
God  himself,  who  hath  thus  ordered  the  course 
of  nature,  a  right  to  be  nourished  and  main- 
tained by  their  parents ;  nay,  a  right  not  only 


to  a  bare  subsistence,  but  to  the  conveniencies 
and  comforts  of  life,   as  far  as  the  conditions 
of  their  parents  can  afford  it.     Hence  it  comes, 
that  when  their  parents  leave  the  world,  and 
so  the  care  due  to  their  children  ceases,  the 
effects  of  it  are  to  extend  as  far  as  possibly 
they  can,  and  the  provisions  they  have  made  in 
their  life-time,  are  understood  to  be  intended, 
as  nature  requires  they  should,  for  their  chil- 
dren, whom,  after  themselves,  they  are  bound 
to  provide  for :  though  the  dying  parents,  by 
express  words,   declare  nothing    about  them, 
nature  appoints  the  descent  of  their  property 
to  their  children,   who   thus  come  to  have  a 
title,  and  natural  right  of  inheritance  to  their 
fathers   goods,    which   the   rest    of    mankind 
cannot  pretend  to. 

§.  90.  Were  it  not  for  this    right  of  being 
nourished   and  maintained    by  their   parents, 
which  God  and  nature   has  given  to  children, 
and  obliged  parents  to  as  a  duty,  it  would  be 
reasonable,  that  the  father  should  inherit  the 
estate  of  his  son,  and  be  preferred  in  the  inhe- 
ritance before  his  grandchild  :  for  to  the  grand- 
father there  is  due  a  long  score  of  care  and 
expences   laid    out    upon    the    breeding    and 
education  of  his  son,  which  one  would  think 
in  justice  ought  to  be  paid.     But  that  having 
been    done   in   obedience    to    the   same   law, 
whereby  he  received  nourishment  and  educa- 
tion  from    his    own    parents :    this    score   of 
education,  received  from  a  man's  father,  is  paid 


by  taking  care,  and  providing  for  his  own 
children ;  is  paid,  I  say,  as  much  as  is  required 
of  payment  by  alteration  of  property,  unless 
present  necessity  of  the  parents  require  a  return 
of  goods  for  their  necessary  support  and  sub- 
sistence :  for  we  are  not  now  speaking  of  that 
reverence,  acknowledgment,  respect  and  ho- 
nour, that  is  always  due  from  children  to  their 
parents ;  but  of  possessions  and  commodities 
of  life  valuable  by  money.  But  though  it  be 
incumbent  on  parents  to  bring  up  and  provide 
for  their  children,  yet  this  debt  to  their  children 
does  not  quite  cancel  the  score  due  to  their 
parents ;  but  only  is  made  by  nature  preferable 
to  it:  for  the  debt  a  man  owes  his  father, 
takes  place,  and  gives  the  father  a  right  to  in- 
herit the  son's  goods,  where,  for  want  of  issue, 
the  right  of  children  doth  not  exclude  that 
title.  And  therefore  a  man  having  a  right  to 
be  maintained  by  his  children,  where  he  needs 
it;  and  to  enjoy  also  the  comforts  of  life  from 
them,  when  the  necessary  provision  due  to 
them  and  their  children  will  afford  it;  if  his 
son  die  without  issue,  the  father  has  a  right 
in  nature  to  possess  his  goods,  and  inherit  his 
estate,  (whatever  the  municipal  laws  of  some 
countries  may  absurdly  direct  otherwise ;)  and 
so  again  his  children  and  their  issue  from  him ; 
or,  for  want  of  such,  his  father  and  his  issue. 
But  where  no  such  are  to  be  found,  i.  e.  no 
kindred,  there  we  see  the  possessions  of  a 
private  man  revert  to  the  community,  and  so 


in  politic  societies  come  into  the  hands  of  the 
public  magistrate ;  but  in  the  state  of  nature 
become  again  perfectly  common,  nobody 
having  a  right  to  inherit  them  :  nor  can  any  one 
have  a  property  in  them,  otherwise  than  in 
other  things  common  by  nature ;  of  which  1 
shall  speak  in  its  due  place. 

§.  9J.  I  have  been  the  larger,  in  shewing 
upon  what  ground  children  have  a  right  to 
succeed  to  the  possession  of  their  fathers  pro- 
perties, not  only  because  by  it,  it  will  appear, 
that  if  Adam  had  a  property  (a  titular,  insigni- 
ficant, useless  property;  for  it  could  be  no 
better,  for  he  was  bound  to  nourish  and  main- 
tain his  children  and  posterity  out  of  it)  in  the 
whole  earth  and  its  product,  yet  all  his  children 
coming  to  have,  by  the  law  of  nature,  and 
right  of  inheritance,  a  joint  title,  and  right  of 
property  in  it  after  his  death,  it  could  convey 
no  right  of  sovereignty  to  any  one  of  his  pos- 
terity over  the  rest :  since  every  one  having  a 
right  of  inheritance  to  his  portion,  they  might 
enjoy  their  inheritance,  or  any  part  of  it  in 
common,  or  share  it,  or  some  parts  of  it,  by 
division,  as  it  best  liked  them.  But  no  one 
could  pretend  to  the  whole  inheritance,  or  any 
sovereignty  supposed  to  accompany  it;  since 
a  right  of  inheritance  gave  every  one  of  the 
rest,  as  well  as  any  one,  a  title  to  share  in  the 
goods  of  his  father.  Not  only  upon  this 
account,  1  say,  have  I  been  so  particular  in 
examining  tht   reason  of  children's   inheriting 


the  property  of  their  fathers,  but  also  because 
it  will  give  us  farther  light  in  the  inheritance  of 
rule  and  power,  which  in  countries  where  their 
particular  municipal  laws  give  the  whole  pos- 
session of  land  entirely  to  the  first-born,  and 
descent  of  power  has  gone  so  to  men  by  this 
custom,  some  have  been  apt  to  be  deceived 
into  an  opinion,  that  there  was  a  natural  or 
divine  right  of  primogeniture,  to  both  estate 
and  power;  and  that  the  inheritance  of  both 
rule  over  men,  and  property  in  tilings,  sprang 
from  the  same  original,  and  were  to  descend 
by  the  same  rules. 

§.  92.  Property,  whose  original  is  from  the 
right  a  man  has  to  use  any  of  the  inferior 
creatures,  for  the  subsistence  and  comfort  of 
his  life,  is  for  the  benefit  and  sole  advantage  of 
the  proprietor,  so  that  he  may  even  destroy  the 
thing,  that  he  has  property  in  by  his  use  of  it, 
where  need  requires:  but  government  being 
for  the  preservation  of  every  man's  right  and 
property,  by  preserving  him  from  the  violence 
or  injury  of  others,  is  for  the  good  of  the  govern- 
ed :  for  the  magistrate's  sword  being  for  a 
terror  to  evil  doers,  and  by  that  terror  to  in- 
force  men  to  observe  the  positive  laws  of  the 
society,  made  conformable  to  the  laws  of  na- 
ture, for  the  public  good,  i.  e.  the  good  of 
every  particular  member  of  that  society,  as  far 
as  by  common  rules  it  can  be  provided  for; 
the  sword  is  not  given  the  magistrate  for  his 
own  good  alone. 


§.  93.  Children  therefore,  as  has  been  shew- 
ed, by  the  depend ance  they  have  on  their 
parents  for  subsistence,  have  a  right  of  inheri- 
tance to  their  fathers  property,  as  that  which 
belongs  to  them  for  their  proper  good  and 
behoof,  and  therefore  are  fitly  termed  goods, 
wherein  the  first-born  has  not  a  sole  or  pecu- 
liar right  by  any  law  of  God  and  nature,  the 
younger  children  having  an  equal  title  with 
him,  founded  on  that  right  they  all  have  to 
maintenance,  support,  and  comfort  from  their 
parents,  and  on  nothing  else.  But  government 
being  for  the  benefit  of  the  governed,  and  not 
the  sole  advantage  of  the  governors,  (but  only 
for  theirs  with  the  rest,  as  they  make  a  part  of 
that  politic  body,  each  of  whose  parts  and 
members  are  taken  care  of,  and  directed  in  its 
peculiar  functions  for  the  good  of  the  whole, 
by  the  laws  of  society)  cannot  be  inherited  by 
the  same  title,  that  children  have  to  the  goods 
of  their  father.  The  right  a  son  has  to  be 
maintained  and  provided  with  the  necessaries 
and  conveniencies  of  life  out  of  his  father's 
stock,  gives  him  a  right  to  succeed  to  his 
father's  property  for  his  own  good ;  but  this 
can  give  him  no  right  to  succeed  also  to  the 
rule,  which  his  father  had  over  other  men. 
All  that  a  child  has  right  to  claim  from  his 
father  is  nourishment  and  education,  and  the 
things  nature  furnishes  for  the  support  of  life : 
but  he  has  no  right  to  demand  rule  or  dominion 
from  him :  he  can  subsist  and  receive  from  him 


(lie  portion  of  good  tilings,  and  advantages  of 
education  naturally  due  to  him,  without  empire 
and  dominion.  That  (if  his  father  hath  any) 
was  vested  in  him,  for  the  good  and  behoof  of 
others :  and  therefore  the  son  cannot  claim  or 
inherit  it  by  a  title,  which  is  founded  wholly 
on  his  own  private  good  and  advantage. 

§.  94.  We  must  know  how  the  first  ruler, 
from  whom  any  one  claims,  came  by  his  au- 
thority, upon  what  ground  any  one  has  empire, 
what  his  title  is  to  it,  before  we  can  know  who 
has  a  right  to  succeed  him  in  it,  and  inherit  it 
from  him :  if  the  agreement  and  consent  of 
men  first  gave  a  sceptre  into  any  one's  hand, 
or  put  a  crown  on  his  head,  that  also  must 
direct  its  descent  and  conveyance ;  for  the 
same  authority,  that  made  the  first  a  lawful 
ruler,  must  make  the  second  too,  and  so  give 
right  of  succession:  in  this  case  inheritance, 
or  primogeniture,  can  in  itself  have  no  pretence 
to  it,  any  farther  than  that  consent,  which 
established  the  form  of  the  government,  »hath 
so  settled  the  succession.  And  thus  we  see, 
the  succession  of  crowns,  in  several  countries, 
places  it  on  different  heads,  and  he  comes  by 
right  of  succession  to  be  a  prince  in  one  place, 
who  would  be  a  subject  in  another. 

§.  95.  If  God,  by  his  positive  grant  and  re- 
vealed declaration,  first  gave  rule  and  dominion 
to  any  man,  he  that  will  claim  by  that  title, 
must  have  the  same  positive  grant  of  God  for 
his  succession:  for  if  that  has  not  directed  the 


course  of  its  descent  and  conveyance  down  to 
others,  nobody  can  succeed  to  this  title  of  the 
first  ruler.  Children  have  no  right  of  inheri- 
tance in  this ;  and  primogeniture  can  lay  no 
claim  to  it,  unless  God,  the  author  of  this 
constitution,  hath  so  ordained  it.  Thus  we 
see,  the  pretensions  of  Saul's  family,  who  re- 
ceived his  crown  from  the  immediate  appoint- 
ment of  God,  ended  with  his  reign;  and  David, 
by  the  same  title  that  Saul  reigned,  viz.  God's 
appointment,  succeeded  in  his  throne,  to  the 
exclusion  of  Jonathan,  and  all  pretensions  of 
paternal  inheritance :  and  if  Solomon  had  a 
right  to  succeed  his  father,  it  must  be  by  some 
other  title,  than  that  of  primogeniture.  A  cadet, 
or  sister's  son,  must  have  the  preference  in 
succession,  if  he  has  the  same  title  the  first  law- 
ful prince  had :  and  in  dominion  that  had  its 
foundation  only  in  the  positive  appointment  of 
God  himself,  Benjamin,  the  youngest,  must 
have  the  inheritance  of  the  crown,  if  God  so 
direct,  as  well  as  one  of  that  tribe  had  the  first 

§.  96.  If paternal  right,  the  act  of  begetting, 
give  a  man  rule  and  dominion  inheritance  or 
primogeniture  can  give  no  title :  for  he  that 
cannot  succeed  to  his  father's  title,  which  was 
begetting,  cannot  succeed  to  that  power  over 
his  brethren,  which  his  father  had  by  paternal 
right  over  them.  But  of  this  I  shall  have  oc- 
casion to  say  more  in  another  place.  This  is 
plain  in  the  mean  time,   that  any  government, 


whether  supposed  to  be  at  first  founded  in 
paternal  rigid,  consent  of  the  people,  or  the 
positive  appointment  of  God  himself,  which  ran 
supersede  either  of  the  other,  and  so  begin  a 
new  government  upon  a  new  foundation  ;  I  say, 
any  government  began  upon  either  of  these, 
can  by  right  of  succession  come  to  those  only, 
who  have  the  title  of  him  they  succeed  to : 
power  founded  on  contract  can  descend  only 
to  him,  who  has  right  by  that  contract :  power 
founded  on  begetting,  he  only  can  have  that 
begets;  and  power  founded  on  the  positive 
grant  or  donation  of  God,  he  only  can  have  by 
right  of  succession,  to  whom  that  grant  directs 

§.  97.  From  what  I  have  said,  I  think  this  is 
clear,  that  a  right  to  the  use  of  the  creatures, 
being  founded  originally  in  the  right  a  man  has 
to  subsist  and  enjoy  the  conveniencies  of  life ; 
and  the  natural  right  children  have  to  inherit 
the  goods  of  their  parents,  being  founded  in  the 
right  they  have  to  the  same  subsistence  and 
commodities  of  life,  out  of  the  stock  of  their 
parents,  who  are  therefore  taught  by  natural 
love  and  tenderness  to  provide  for  them,  as  a 
part  of  themselves ;  and  all  this  being  only  for 
the  good  of  the  proprietor,  or  heir;  it  can  be 
no  reason  for  children's  inheriting  of  rule  and 
dominion,  which  has  another  original  and  a 
different  end.  Nor  can  primogeniture  have 
any  pretence  to  a  right  of  solely  inheriting 
either  property  or  power,  as  we  shall,  in  its  due 


place,  see  more  fully.  It  is  enough  to  have 
shewed  here,  that  Adam's  property,  or  private 
dominion,  could  not  convey  any  sovereignty  or 
rule  to  his  heir,  who  not  having  a  right  to  in- 
herit all  his  fathers  possessions,  could  not 
thereby  come  to  have  any  sovereignty  over  his 
brethren :  and  therefore,  if  any  sovereignty  on 
account  of  his  property  had  been  vested  in 
Adam,  which  in  truth  there  was  not,  yet  it 
would  have  died  with  him. 

§.  98.  As  Adams  sovereignty,  if,  by  virtue 
of  being  proprietor  of  the  world,  he  had  any 
authority  over  men,  could  not  have  been  in- 
herited by  any  of  his  children  over  the  rest, 
because  they  had  the  same  title  to  divide  the 
inheritance,  and  every  one  had  a  right  to  a 
portion  of  his  father's  possessions ;  so  neither 
could  Adams  sovereignty  by  right  of  father- 
hood, if  any  such  he  had,  descend  to  any  one 
of  his  children :  for  it  being,  in  our  author's 
account,  a  right  acquired  by  begetting  to  rule 
over  those  he  had  begotten,  it  was  not  a  power 
possible  to  be  inherited,  because  the  right  being* 
consequent  to,  and  built  on,  an  act  perfectly 
personal,  made  that  power  so  too,  and  impos- 
sible to  be  inherited  :  for  paternal  power,  being 
a  natural  right  rising  only  from  the  relation  of 
father  and  son,  is  as  impossible  to  be  inherited 
as  the  relation  itself;  and  a  man  may  pretend 
as  well  to  inherit  the  conjugal  power  the  hus- 
band, whose  heir  he  is,  had  over  his  wife,  as 
he  can  to  inherit  the  paternal  power  of  a  father 


over  his  children  :  for  the  power  of  the  husband 
being  founded  on  contract,  and  the  power  of 
the  father  on  begetting,  he  may  as  well  inherit 
the  power  obtained  by  the  conjugal  contract, 
which  was  only  personal,  as  he  may  the  power 
obtained  by  begetting-,  which  could  reach  no 
farther  than  the  person  of  the  begetter,  unless 
begetting  can  be  a  title  to  power  in  him  that 
does  not  beget. 

§.  90.  Which  makes  it  a  reasonable  question 
to  ask,  whether  Adam,  dying  before  Eve,  his 
heir,  (suppose  Cain  or  Seth)  should  have  by 
right  of  inheriting  Adam  s  fatherhood,  sovereign 
power  over  Eve  his  mother :  for  Adams  father- 
hood being  nothing  but  a  right  he  had  to  govern 
his  children,  because  he  begot  them,  he  that 
inherits  Adams  fatherhood,  inherits  nothing, 
even  in  our  author's  sense,  but  the  right  Adam 
had  to  govern  his  children,  because  he  begot 
them  :  so  that  the  monarchy  of  the  heir  would 
not  have  taken  in  Eve;  or  if  it  did,  it  being 
nothing  but  the  fatherhood  of  Adam  descended 
by  inheritance,  the  heir  must  have  right  to 
govern  Eve,  because  Adam  begot  her;  for 
fatherhood  is  nothing  else. 

§.  100.  Perhaps  it  will  be  said  with  our 
author,  that  a  man  can  alien  his  power  over 
his  child;  and  what  may  be  transferred  by 
compact,  may  be  possessed  by  inheritance.  I 
answer,  a  father  cannot  alien  the  power  he  has 
over  his  child  :  he  may  perhaps  to  some  degrees 
forfeit  it,  but  cannot  transfer  it;   and  if  any 


other  man  acquire  it,  it  is  not  by  the  fathers 
grant,  but  by  some  act  of  his  own.  For  ex- 
ample, a  father,  naturally  careless  of  his  child, 
sells  or  gives  him  to  another  man ;  and  he 
again  exposes  him ;  a  third  man  finding  him, 
breeds  up,  cherishes,  and  provides  for  him  as 
his  own  :  I  think  in  this  case,  nobody  will 
doubt,  but  that  the  greatest  part  of  filial  duty 
and  subjection  was  here  owing,  and  to  be  paid 
to  this  foster-father ;  and  if  any  thing  could 
be  demanded  from  the  child  by  either  of  the 
other,  it  could  only  be  due  to  his  natural  father, 
who  perhaps  might  have  forfeited  his  right  to 
much  of  that  duty  comprehended  in  the  com- 
mand, Honour  your  parents,  but  could  transfer 
none  of  it  to  another.  He  that  purchased,  and 
neglected  the  child,  got  by  his  purchase  and 
grant  of  the  father,  no  title  to  duty  or  honour 
from  the  child ;  but  only  he  acquired  it,  who 
by  his  own  authority,  performing  the  office  and 
care  of  a  father,  to  the  forlorn  and  perishing 
infant,  made  himself,  by  paternal  care,  a  title 
to  proportionable  degrees  of  paternal  power. 
This  will  be  more  easily  admitted  upon  consi- 
deration of  the  nature  of  paternal  power,  for 
which  I  refer  my  reader  to  the  second  book. 

§.  101.  To  return  to  the  argument  in  hand  ; 
this  is  evident,  That  paternal  power  arising 
only  from  begetting,  for  in  that  our  author 
places  it  alone,  can  neither  be  transferred  nor 
inherited :  and  he  that  does  not  beget,  can  no 
more  have  paternal  power,  which   arises  from 


thence,  than  he  can  have  a  right  to  any  thing, 
who  performs  not  the  condition,  to  which  only 
it  is  annexed.     If  one  should  ask,  by  what  law 
has   a  father  power  over  his   children?  it  will 
be  answered,  no  doubt,  by  the  law  of  nature, 
which  gives   such  a  power  over  them,  to  him 
that  begets  them.     If  one  should  ask  likewise, 
by  what  law  does  our  author's  heir  come  by  a 
right  to  inherit?  I  think  it  would  be  answered, 
by  the  law  of  nature  too :  for  I  find  not  that 
our  author  brings   one    word   of  scripture  to 
prove  the  right  of  such  an  heir  he  speaks  of. 
Why  then   the  law    of    nature    gives    fathers 
paternal  power  over  their   children,    because 
they  did   beget   them ;    and   the  same  law  of 
nature  gives  the  same  paternal  power  to  the 
heir  over  his  brethren,  who  did  not  beget  them  : 
whence  it  follows,  that  either  the  father  has  not 
his  paternal  power  by  begetting,  or  else  that 
the  heir  has   it  not  at  all ;    for   it  is   hard   to 
understand  how  the  law  of  nature,  which  is  the 
law  of  reason,   can   give    the   paternal  power 
to  the  father  over  his  children,  for   the   only 
reason  of  begetting ;  and  to  the  first-born  over 
his  brethren  without  this  only  reason,  i.  c.  for 
no  reason  at  all :  and  if  the  eldest,  by  the  law 
of   nature,    can.  inherit   this   paternal   power, 
without  the  only  reason  that  gives  a  title  to  it, 
s<>   may   the   youngest    as   well    as    he,   and   a 
stranger  as  well  as   either;  for  where  there  is 
no  reason  for  any  our,  as  then-  is  not,  but  for 
him  that  begets,  all  have  an  equal  title.     I  am 


1  14  OF    GOVERNMENT. 

sure  our  author  offers  no  reason ;  and  when 
any  body  does,  we  shall  see  whether  it  Avill 
hold  or  no. 

§.  102.  In  the  mean  time  it  is  as  good  sense 
to  say,  that  by  the  law  of  nature  a  man  has 
right  to  inherit  the  property  of  another,  because 
he  is  of  kin  to  him,  and  is  known  to  be  of  his 
blood ;  and  therefore,  by  the  same  law  of 
nature,  an  utter  stranger  to  his  blood  has  right 
to  inherit  his  estate ;  as  to  say  that,  by  the  law 
of  nature,  he  that  begets  them  has  paternal 
power  over  his  children,  and  therefore,  by  the 
law  of  nature,  the  heir  that  begets  them  not, 
has  this  paternal  power  over  them ;  or  suppo- 
sing the  law  of  the  land  gave  absolute  power 
over  their  children,  to  such  only  who  nursed 
them,  and  fed  their  children  themselves,  could 
any  body  pretend,  that  this  law  gave  any  one, 
who  did  no  such  thing,  absolute  power  over 
those,  who  were  not  his  children ? 

<§.  103.  When  therefore  it  can  be  shewed, 
that  conjugal  power  can  belong  to  him  that  is 
not  an  husband,  it  will  also  I  believe  be  proved, 
that  our  author's  paternal  power,  acquired  by 
begetting,  may  be  inherited  by  a  son ;  and  that 
a  brother,  as  heir  to  his  father's  power,  may 
have  paternal  power,  over  his  brethren,  and  by 
the  same  rule  conjugal  power  too:  but  till 
then,  I  think  we  may  rest  satisfied,  that  the 
paternal  power  of  Adam,  this  sovereign  autho- 
rity of  fatherhood,  were  there  any  such,  could 
not  descend  to,  nor  be  inherited  by,  his  next 

OF    GOVERNMENT.  ]  15 

heir.  Fatherly  power,  I  easily  grant  our  author, 
if  it  will  do  him  any  good,  can  never  be  lost, 
because  it  will  be  as  long  in  the  world  as  there 
are  fathers :  but  none  of  them  will  have  Adams 
paternal  power,  or  derive  their's  from  him; 
but  every  one  will  have  his  own,  by  the  same 
title  Adam  had  his,  viz.  by  begetting',  but  not 
by  inheritance,  or  succession,  no  more  than 
husbands  have  their  conjugal  power  by  inheri- 
tance from  Adam.  And  thus  we  see,  as  Adam 
had  no  such  property,  no  such  paternal  poiver, 
as  gave  him  sovereign  jurisdiction  over  man- 
kind ;  so  likewise  his  sovereignty  built  upon 
either  of  these  titles,  [if  he  had  any  such,  could 
not  have  descended  to  his  heir,  but  must  have 
ended  with  him.  Adam  therefore,  as  lias  been 
proved,  being  neither  monarch,  nor  his  imagi- 
nary monarchy  hereditable,  the  power  which 
is  now  in  the  world,  is  not  that  which  was 
Adam's,  since  all  that  Adam  could  have  upon 
our  author's  grounds,  either  of  property  or 
fatherhood,  necessarily  died  with  him,  and 
could  not  be  conveyed  to  posterity  by  inheri- 
tance. In  the  next  place  we  will  consider, 
whether  Adam  had  any  such  heir,  to  inherit 
his  power,  as  our  author  talks  of. 

i  2 



Of  the  Heir  to  Adam's  Monarchical  Power. 

§.  104.  Our  author  tells  us,  Observations, 
253.  That  it  is  a  truth  undeniable,  that  there 
cannot  be  any  multitude  of  men  whatsoever, 
either  great  or  small,  though  gathered  together 
from  the  several  corners  and  remotest  regions  of 
the  world,  but  that  in  the  same  multitude,  con- 
sidered by  itself,  there  is  one  man  amongst  them, 
that  in  nature  hath  a  right  to  be  king  of  all  the 
rest,  as  being  the  next  heir  to  Adam,  and  all  the 
other  subjects  to  him :  every  man  by  nature  is  a 
king  or  a  subject.  And  again,  p.  20.  If 
Adam  himself  ivere  still  living,  and  now  ready 
to  die,  it  is  certain  that  there  is  one  man,  and 
but  one  in  the  world,  ivho  is  next  heir.  Let  this 
multitude  of  men  be,  if  our  author  pleases,  all 
the  princes  upon  the  earth,  there  will  then  be, 
by  our  authors  rule,  one  amongst  them,  that  in 
nature  hath  a  right  to  be  king  of  all  the  rest, 
as  being  the  right  heir  to  Adam ;  an  excellent 
way  to  establish  the  thrones  of  princes,  and 
settle  the  obedience  of  their  subjects,  by  setting- 
up  an  hundred,  or  perhaps  a  thousand  titles 
(if  there  be  so  many  princes  in  the  world) 
against  any  king  now  reigning,  each  as  good, 
upon  our  author's  grounds,  as  his  who  wears  the 
crown.  If  this  right  of  heir  carry  any  weight 
with  it,  if  it  be  the  ordinance  of  God,  as  our 

OF    GOVERNMENT.  1  17 

tuthor  seems  to  tell  us,  Observations,  241.  must 
not  all  be  subject  to  it,  from  the  highest  to  the 
lowest?  Can  those  who  wear  the  name  of 
princes,  without  having  the  right  of  being  heirs 
to  Adam,  demand  obedience  from  their  subjects 
by  this  title,  and  not  be  bound  to  pay  it  by  the 
s;une  law  ?  Either  governments  in  the  world 
are  not  to  be  claimed,  and  held  by  this  title  of 
Adam's  heir ;  and  then  the  starting  of  it  is  to. 
no  purpose,  the  being  or  not  being  Adam's  heir, 
signifies  nothing  as  to  the  title  of  dominion :  or 
if  it  really  be,  as  our  author  says,  the  true  title 
to  government  or  sovereignty,  the  first  thing  to 
be  done,  is  to  find  out  this  true  heir  of  Adam, 
scat  him  in  his  throne,  and  then  all  the  kings 
and  princes  of  the  world  ought  to  come  and 
resign  up  their  crowns  and  sceptres  to  him,  as 
things  that  belong  no  more  to  them,  than  to  any 
of  their  subjects. 

§.  105.  For  either  this  right  in  nature,  of 
Adams  heir,  to  be  king  over  all  the  race  of 
men,  (for  all  together  they  make  one  multitude) 
is  a  right  not  necessary  to  the  making  of  a 
lawful  king,  and  so  there  may  be  lawful  kings 
without  it,  and  then  kings  titles  and  power 
depend  not  on  it ;  or  else  all  the  kings  in  the 
world  but  one  are  not  lawful  kings,  and  so 
have  no  right  to  obedience :  either  this  title  of 
heir  to  Adam  is  that  whereby  kings  hold  their 
crowns,  and  have  a  right  to  subjection  from 
their  subjects,  and  then  one  only  can  have  it, 
ind   the   rest  being    subjects  can   require    no 


obedience  from  other  men,  who  are  but  their 
fellow-subjects;    or    else   it  is   not    the   title 
whereby  kings  rule,  and  have  a  right  to  obe- 
dience from  their  subjects,  and  then  kings  are 
kings  without  it,  and  this  dream  of  the  natural 
sovereignty  of  Adams  heir  is  of  no   use  to 
obedience  and  government :  for  if  kings  have  a 
right  to  dominion,  and  the  obedience  of  their 
subjects,   who  are   not,  nor  can  possibly  be, 
heirs  to  Adam,  what  use  is  there  of  such  a 
title,  when  we  are  obliged  to  obey  without  it? 
If  kings,  who  are  not  heirs  to  Adam,  have  no 
right  to  sovereignty,  we  are  all  free,   till  our 
author,  or   any   body  for  him,   will   shew   us 
Adam's  right  heir.     If  there  be  but  one  heir  of 
Adam,  there  can  be  but  one  lawful  king  in  the 
world,  and  nobody  in  conscience  can  be  obliged 
to  obedience  till  it  be  resolved  who  that  is ;  for 
it  may  be  any  one,  who  is  not  known  to  be  of 
a   younger   house,   and   all  others  have  equal 
titles.     If  there  be  more  than  one  heir  of  Adam, 
every  one  is  his  heir,   and  so   every  one  has 
regal  power:    for   if    two  sons   can   be  heirs 
together,   then  all  the  sons  are  equally  heirs, 
and  so  all  arc  heirs,   being  all   sons,   or  sons 
sons  of  Adam.     Betwixt  these  two  the  right  of 
heir  cannot  stand  ;  for  by  it  either  but  one  only 
man,  or  all   men  are  kings.     Take  which  you 
please,  it  dissolves  the  bonds  of  government 
and    obedience;    since,  if   all   men   are  heirs, 
they  can  owe  obedience  to  nobody;   if  only 
•  mi  be  obliged  to  pay  ol><  di<  m  - 

him, till  he  be  known,  and  his  t it  1«  made  out 


Who  HEIR? 

§.  106.  The  great  question  which  in  all 
ages  has  disturbed  mankind,  and  brought  on 
them  the  greatest  part  of  those  mischiefs  which 
have  ruined  cities,  depopulated  countries,  and 
disordered  the  peace  of  the  world,  has  been, 
not  whether  there  be  power  in  the  world,  nor 
whence  it  came,  but  who  should  have  it.  The 
settling  of  this  point  being  of  no  smaller  mo- 
ment than  the  security  of  princes,  and  the 
peace  and  welfare  of  their  estates  and  king- 
doms, a  reformer  of  politics,  one  would  think, 
should  lay  this  sure,  and  be  very  clear  in  it : 
for  if  this  remain  disputable,  all  the  rest  will  be 
to  very  little  purpose;  and  the  skill  used  in 
dressing  up  power  with  all  the  splendour  and 
temptation  absoluteness  can  add  to  it,  without 
shewing  who  has  a  right  to  have  it,  will  serve 
only  to  give  a  greater  edge  to  man's  natural 
ambition,  which  of  itself  is  but  too  keen.  What 
can  this  do  but  set  men  on  the  more  eagerly  to 
scramble,  and  so  lay  a  sure  and  lasting  foun- 
dation of  endless  contention  and  disorder, 
instead  of  that  peace  and  tranquillity,  which 
is  the  business  of  government,  and  the  end  of 
human  society  ? 

§.  107.  This  designation  of  the  person  our 
author  is  more  than  ordinary  obliged  to  take 


care  of,  because  he,  affirming  that  the  assign- 
ment of  civil poiver  is  by  divine  institution,  hath 
made  the  conveyance  as  well  as  the  power 
itself  sacred :  so  that  no  consideration,  no  act 
or  art  of  man,  can  divert  it  from  that  person, 
to  whom,  by  this  divine  right,  it  is  assigned  ; 
no  necessity  or  contrivance  can  substitute 
another  person  in  his  room :  for  if  the  assign- 
ment of  civil  power  be  by  divine  institution,  and 
Adams  heir  be  he  to  whom  it  is  thus  assigned, 
as  in  the  foregoing  chapter  our  author  tells  us, 
it  would  be  as  much  sacrilege  for  any  one  to 
be  king,  who  was  not  Adams  heir,  as  it  would 
have  been  amongst  the  Jews,  for  any  one  to 
have  been  priest,  who  had  not  been  of  Aaron  s 
posterity  :  for  not  only  the  priesthood  in  general 
being  by  divine  institution,  but  the  assignment 
of  it  to  the  sole  line  and  posterity  of  Aaron, 
made  it  impossible  to  be  enjoyed  or  exercised 
by  any  one,  but  those  persons  who  were  the 
offspring  of  Aaron :  whose  succession  therefore 
was  carefully  observed,  and  by  that  the  persons 
who  had  a  right  to  the  priesthood  certainly 

§.  108.  Let  us  see  then  what  care  our  author 
has  taken,  to  make  us  know  who  is  this  heir, 
who  by  divine  institution  has  a  right  to  be  king 
over  all  men.  The  first  account  of  him  we 
meet  with  is,  p.  12.  in  these  words:  This  sub- 
jection of  children,  being  the  fountain  of  all 
regal  authority,  by  the  ordination  of  God  him- 
wff>  it  follows,   that  civil  power,  not  only  in 


general,  is  by  divine  institution,  bat  even  the, 
assignment  of  it,  specifically  to  Ike  eldest  parents. 
Matters  of  such  consequence  as  this  is,  should 
be  in  plain  words,  as  little  liable,  as  might  be, 
to  doubt  or  equivocation;  and  I  think,  if 
language  be  capable  of  expressing  any  thing 
distinctly  and  clearly,  that  of  kindred,  and  the 
several  degrees  of  nearness  of  blood,  is  one. 
It  were  therefore  to  be  wished,  that  our  author 
had  used  a  little  more  intelligible  expressions 
here,  that  we  might  have  better  known,  who  it 
is,  to  whom  the  assignment  of  civil  power  is 
made  by  divine  institution ;  or  at  least  would 
have  told  us  what  he  meant  by  eldest  parents  : 
for  I  believe,  if  land  had  been  assigned  or 
granted  to  him,  and  the  eldest  parents  of  his 
family,  he  would  have  thought  it  had  needed 
an  interpreter ;  and  it  would  scarce  have  been 
known  to  whom  it  next  belonged. 

^.  109.  In  propriety  of  speech,  (and  certainly 
propriety  of  speech  is  necessary  in  a  discourse 
of  this  nature)  eldest  parents  signifies  either  the 
eldest  men  and  women  that  have  had  children, 
or  those  who  have  longest  had  issue ;  and  then 
our  author's  assertion  will  be,  that  those  fathers 
and  mothers,  who  have  been  longest  in  the 
world,  or  longest  fruitful,  have  by  divine  insti- 
tution a  right  to  civil  potter.  If  there  be  any 
absurdity  in  this,  our  author  must  answer  for 
it:  and  if  his  meaning  be  different  from  my 
explication,  he  is  to  be  blamed,  that  he  would 
not  speak  it  plainly.     This  I  am  sure,  parents 


cannot  signify  heirs  male,  nor  eldest  parents  an 
infant  child  :  who  yet  may  sometimes  be  the 
true  heir,  if  there  can  be  but  one.  And  we  are 
hereby  still  as  much  at  a  loss,  who  civil  power 
belongs  to,  notwithstanding  this  assignment  by 
divine  institution,  as  if  there  had  been  no  such 
assignment  at  all,  or  our  author  had  said  no- 
thing of  it.  This  of  eldest  parents  leaving  us 
more  in  the  dark,  who  by  divine  institution  has 
a  right  to  civil  power,  than  those  who  never 
heard  any  thing  at  all  of  heir,  or  descent,  of 
which  our  author  is  so  full.  And  though  the 
chief  matter  of  his  writing  be  to  teach  obedience 
to  those,  who  have  a  right  to  it,  which  he  tells 
us  is  conveyed  by  descent,  yet  who  those  are, 
to  whom  this  right  by  descent  belongs,  he 
leaves,  like  the  philosophers  stone  in  politics, 
out  of  the  reach  of  any  one  to  discover  from 
his  writings. 

§.  110.  This  obscurity  cannot  be  imputed  to 
want  of  language  in  so  great  a  master  of  style 
as  Sir  Robert  is,  when  he  is  resolved  with 
himself  what  he  would  say:  and  therefore,  I 
fear,  finding  how  hard  it  would  be  to  settle 
rules  of  descent  by  institution,  and  how  little 
it  would  be  to  his  purpose,  or  conduce  to  the 
clearing  and  establishing  the  titles  of  princes, 
if  such  rules  of  descent  were  settled,  he  chose 
rather  to  content  himself  with  doubtful  and 
general  terms,  which  might  make  no  ill  sound 
in  nuns  ears,  who  were  willing  to  be  pleased 
with  them,  rather  than  offer  any  clear  rules  of 


descent  of  this  fatherhood  of  Adam,  by  which 
men's  consciences  might  be  satisfied  to  whom 
it  descended,  and  know  the  persons  who  had 
a  right  to  regal  power,  and  with  it  to  their 

§.  111.  How  else  is  it  possible,  that  laying 
so  much  stress,  as  he  does,  upon  descent,  and 
Adam's  heir,  next,  heir,  true  heir,  he  should 
never  tell  us  what  heir  means,  nor  the  way  to 
know  who  the  next  or  true  heir  is  ?  This,  I  do 
not  remember,  he  does  any  where  expressly 
handle ;  but,  where  it  comes  in  his  way,  very 
warily  and  doubtfully  touches  ;  though  it  be 
so  necessary,  that  without  it  all  discourses  of 
government  and  obedience  upon  his  principles 
would  be  to  no  purpose,  and  fatherly  poiver, 
never  so  well  made  out,  will  be  of  no  use  to 
any  body.  Hence  he  tells  us,  Observations, 
244.  That  not  only  the  constitution  of  power 
in  general,  but  the  limitation  of  it  to  one  kind, 
(i.  e.)  monarchy,  and  the  determination  of  it  to 
the  individual  person  and  line  of  Adam,  are  all 
I /tree  ordinances  of  God;  neither  Eve  nor  her 
children  could  either  limit  Adam's  poiver,  or 
join  others  with  him ;  and  what  ivas  given  unto 
Adam  ivas  given  in  his  person  to  his  posterity. 
Here  again  our  author  informs  us,  that  the 
divine  ordinance  hath  limited  the  descent  of 
Adam's  monarchical  power.  To  whom?  To 
Adam's  lint  and  posterity,  says  our  author.     A 

(table  limitation,  a  limitation  to  all  mankind: 
if  our  author  can  find  any   one  amongst 


mankind,  that  is  not  of  the  li?ie  and  posterity 
of  Adam,  he  may  perhaps  tell  him,  who  this 
next  heir  of  Adam  is  :  but  for  us,  I  despair 
how  this  limitation  of  Adam's  empire  to  his 
tine  and  posterity  will  help  us  to  find  out  one 
heir.  This  limitation  indeed  of  our  author 
will  save  those  the  labour,  who  would  look  for 
him  amongst  the  race  of  brutes,  if  any  such 
there  were ;  but  will  very  little  contribute  to 
the  discovery  of  one  next  heir  amongst  men, 
though  it  make  a  short  and  easy  determination 
of  the  question  about  the  descent  of  Adam's 
regal  power,  by  telling  us,  that  the  line  and 
posterity  of  Adam  is  to  have  it,  that  is,  in  plain 
English,  any  one  may  have  it,  since  there  is 
no  person  living  that  hath  not  the  title  of  being 
of  the  line  and  posterity  of  Adam;  and  while 
it  keeps  there,  it  keeps  within  our  author's 
limitation  by  God's  ordinance.  Indeed,  p.  19. 
he  tells  us,  that  such  heirs  are  not  only  lords 
of  their  own  children,  but  of  their  brethren; 
whereby,  and  by  the  words  following,  which 
we  shall  consider  anon,  he  seems  to  insinuate, 
that  the  eldest  son  is  heir ;  but  he  no  where, 
that  I  know,  says  it  in  direct  words,  but  by  the 
instances  of  Cain  and  Jacob,  that  there  follow, 
we  may  allow  this  to  be  so  far  his  opinion 
concerning  heirs,  that  where  there  are  divers 
children,  the  eldest  son  has  the  right  to  be  heir. 
That  primogeniture  cannot  give  any  title  to 
paternal  power,  we  have  already  shewed. 
That   a  father    may  have    a  natural   right    to 


some  kind  of  power  over  his  children,  is  easily 
granted  ;  hut  that  an  elder  brother  has  so  over 
his  brethren,  remains  to  be  proved :  God  or 
nature  has  not  any  where,  that  I  know,  placed 
such  jurisdiction  in  the  first-born;  nor  can 
reason  find  any  such  natural  superiority  amongst 
brethren.  The  law  of  Moses  gave  a  double 
portion  of  the  goods  and  possessions  to  the 
eldest;  but  we  find  not  any  where  that  na- 
turally, or  by  God's  institution,  superiority  or 
dominion  belonged  to  him,  and  the  instances 
there  brought  by  our  author  are  but  slender 
proofs  of  a  right  to  civil  power  and  dominion 
in  the  first-born,  and  do  rather  shew  the 

§.  1 12.  His  words  are  in  the  forecited  place: 
And  therefore  ivefind  God  told  Cain  of  his  bro- 
ther Abel :  his  desire  shall  be  subject  unto  thee, 
and  thou  shall  rule  over  him.  To  which  1 

1.  These  words  of  God  to  Cain,  are  by  many 
interpreters,  with  great  reason,  understood  in 
a  quite  different  sense  than  what  our  author 
uses  them  in. 

2.  Whatever  was  meant  by  them,  it  could 
not  be,  that  Cain,  as  elder,  had  a  natural  do- 
mion  over  Abel;  for  the  words  are  conditional, 
If  thou  dost  well:  and  so  personal  to  Cain: 
and  whatever  was  signified  by  them,  did  de- 
pend on  his  carriage,  and  not  follow  his  birth- 
right;  and  therefore  could  by  no  means  be 
an  establishment  of  dominion  in  the  first-born 


in  general :  for  before  this  Abel  had  his  distinct 
territories  by  right  of  private  dominion,  as  our 
author  himself  confesses,  Observations,  210, 
which  he  could  not  have  had  to  the  prejudice 
of  the  heirs  title,  if  by  divine  institution,  Cain 
as  heir  were  to  inherit  all  his  father's  dominion. 

3.  If  this  were  intended  by  God  as  the  char- 
ter of  primogeniture,  and  the  grant  of  dominion 
to  elder  brothers  in  general  as  such,  by  right 
of  inheritance,  we  might  expect  it  should  have 
included  all  his  brethren :  for  we  may  well 
suppose,  Adam,  from  whom  the  world  was  to 
be  peopled,  had  by  this  time,  that  these  were 
grown  up  to  be  men,  more  sons  than  these 
two :  whereas  Abel  himself  is  not  so  much  as. 
named ;  and  the  words  in  the  original  can 
scarce,  with  any  good  construction,  be  applied 
to  him. 

4.  It  is  too  much  to  build  a  doctrine  of  so 
mighty  consequence  upon  so  doubtful  and 
obscure  a  place  of  scripture,  which  may  be 
well,  nay  better,  understood  in  a  quite  dif- 
ferent sense,  and  so  can  be  but  an  ill  proof, 
being  as  doubtful  as  the  thing  to  be  proved  by 
it;  especially  when  there  is  nothing  else  in 
scripture  or  reason  to  be  found,  that  favours 
or  supports  it. 

§.  113.  It  follows,  p.  19.  Accordingly  when 
Jacob  bought  his  brothers  birth-right,  Isaac 
blessed  him  thus;  Be  lord  over  thy  brethren, 
(uid  let  the  sons  of  thy  mother  bow  before  thee. 
Another  instance,    I    take  it,  brought  by  our 

OF    GOVERNMENT.  \'l. 

author  to  evince  dominion  tine  to  birth-right, 
aud  an  admirable  one  it  is :  for  it  must  he  no 
ordinary  way  of  reasoning  in  a  man,  that  is 
pleading  for  the  natural  power  of  kings,  and 
against  all  compact,  to  bring  for  proof  of  it, 
an  example,  where  his  own  account  of  it  founds 
all  the  right  upon  compact,  and  settles  empire 
in  the  younger  brother,  unless  buying  and  selling- 
be  no  compact;  for  he  tells  us,  tvhen  Jacob 
bought  his  brother  s  birth-right.  But  passing 
by  that,  let  us  consider  the  history  itself,  what 
use  our  author  makes  of  it,  and  we  shall  find 
these  following  mistakes  about  it. 

1 .  That  our  author  reports  this,  as  if  Isaac 
had  given  Jacob  this  blessing,  immediately  up- 
on his  purchasing  the  birth-right ;  for  he  says, 
when  Jacob  bought,  Isaac  blessed  him;  which 
is  plainly  otherwise  in  the  scripture :  for  it 
appears,  there  was  a  distance  of  time  between, 
and  if  we  will  take  the  story  in  the  order  it 
lies,  it  must  be  no  small  distance ;  all  Isaac's 
sojourning  in  Gerar,  and  transactions  with 
Abimelech,  Gen.  xxvi.  coming  between ;  Re- 
becca being  then  beautiful,  and  consequently 
young  ;  but  Isaac,  when  he  blessed  Jacob,  was 
old  and  decrepit;  and  Esau  also  complains 
of  Jacob,  Gen.  xxvii.  36.  that  two  times  he  had 
supplanted  him  ;  He  took  aivay  my  birth-right, 
says  he,  and  behold  now  he  hath  taken  away 
my  blessing;  words,  that  I  think  signify  dis- 
tance  of  time  and  difference  of  action. 

2.  Another  mistake  of  our  author's  is,  that 


he  supposes  Isaac  gave  Jacob  the  blessing,  and 
bid  him  be  lord  over  his  brethren,  because  he 
had  the  birth-right ;  for  our  author  brings  this 
example  to  prove,  that  he  that  has  the  birth- 
right, has  thereby  a  right  to  be  lord  over  his 
brethren.  But  it  is  also  manifest  by  the  text, 
that  Isaac  had  no  consideration  of  Jacob's 
having  bought  the  birth-right;  for  when  he 
blessed  him,  he  considered  him  not  as  Jacob, 
but  took  him  for  Esau.  Nor  did  Esau  under- 
stand any  such  connection  between  birth-right 
and  the  blessing;  for  he  says,  He  hath  sup- 
planted me  these  two  times,  he  took  away  my 
birth-right,  and  behold  now  he  hath  taken  away 
my  blessing :  whereas  had  the  blessing,  which 
was  to  be  lord  over  his  brethren,  belonged  to 
the  birth-right,  Esau  could  not  have  com- 
plained of  this  second,  as  a  cheat,  Jacob  having 
got  nothing  but  what  Esau  had  sold  him,  when 
he  sold  him  his  birth-ri<rht ;  so  that  it  is  plain, 
dominion,  if  these  words  signify  it,  was  not 
understood  to  belong  to  the  birth-ri<>'ht. 

\.  114.  And  that  in  those  days  of  the  pa- 
triarchs, dominion  was  not  understood  to  be 
the  right  of  the  heir,  but  only  a  greater  portion 
of  goods,  is  plain  from  Gen.  xxi.  10.  for  Sarah, 
taking  Isaac  to  be  heir,  says,  Cast  out  this 
bondwoman  and  her  son,  for  the  son  of  this 
bondwoman  shall  not  be  heir  with  my  son: 
whereby  could  be  meant  nothing,  but  that  he 
should  not  have  a  pretence  to  an  equal  share 
of  his  father's  estate  after  his  death,  but  should 


have  his  portion  presently,  and  begone.  Ac- 
cordingly we  read,  Gen.  xxv.  5,  6.  That 
Abraham  gave  all  he  had  unto  Isaac,  but  unto 
the  sons  of  the  concubines  which  Abraham  had, 
Abraham  gave  gifts,  and  sent  them  away  from 
Isaac  Ms  son,  ivhile  he  yet  lived.  That  is,  Abra- 
ham having-  given  portions  to  all  his  other  sons, 
and  sent  them  away,  that  which  he  had  re- 
served, being  the  greatest  part  of  his  substance, 
Isaac  as  heir  possessed  after  his ,  death :  but 
by  being  heir,  he  had  no  right  to  be  lord  over 
his  brethren;  for  if  he  had,  why  should  Sarah 
endeavour  to  rob  him  of  one  of  his  subjects, 
or  lessen  the  number  of  his  slaves,  by  desiring 
to  have  Ishmael  sent  away  ? 

§.  115.  Thus,  as  under  the  law,  the  privi- 
lege of  birth-right  was  nothing  but  a  double 
portion :  so  we  see  that  before  Moses,  in  the 
patriarchs  time,  from  whence  our  author  pre- 
tends to  take  his  model,  there  was  no  know- 
ledge, no  thought,  that  birth-right  gave  rule 
or  empire,  paternal  or  kingly  authority,  to  any 
one  over  his  brethren.  If  this  be  not  plain 
enough  in  the  story  of  Isaac  and  Ishmael,  he 
that  will  look  into  1  Chron.  v.  12.  may  read 
these  words ;  Reuben  ivas  the  first-born ;  but 
forasmuch  as  he  defiled  his  father's  bed,  his 
birth-right,  ivas  given  unto  the  sons  of  Joseph, 
the  son  of  Israel :  and  the  genealogy  is  not  to 
be  reckoned  after  the  birth-right;  for  Judah 
prevailed  above  his  brethren,  and  of  him  came 
the  chief  rider ;  but  the  birth-right  was  Joseph's. 


J  .30  OF    GOVERNMENT. 

What  this  births-right  was,  Jacob  blessing*  Jo- 
seph, Gen.  xlviii.  22.  telleth  us  in  these  words, 
Moreover  I  have  given  thee  one  "portion  above  thy 
brethren,  which  I  took  out  of  the  hand  of  the 
Amorite,  with  my  sword  and  with  my  bow. 
AVhereby  it  is  not  only  plain,  that  the  birth- 
right was  nothing  but  a  double  portion;  but 
the  text  in  Chronicles  is  express  against  our 
author's  doctrine,  and  shews  that  dominion 
was  no  part  of  the  birth-right ;  for  it  tells  us, 
that  Joseph  had  the  birth-right,  but  Judah  the 
dominion.  One  would  think  our  author  were 
very  fond  of  the  very  name  of  birth-right, 
when  he  brings  this  instance  of  Jacob  and 
Esau,  to  prove  that  dominion  belongs  to  the 
heir  over  his  brethren. 

§.116.  1.  Because  it  will  be  but  an  ill  ex- 
ample to  prove,  that  dominion  by  God's  ordi- 
nation belonged  to  the  eldest  son,  because  Ja- 
cob the  youngest  here  had  it,  let  him  come  by 
it  how  he  would :  for  if  it  prove  any  thing,  it 
can  only  prove,  against  our  author,  that  tin1 
assignment  of  dominion  to  the  eldest  is  not  by 
divine  institution,  which  would  then  be  unalter- 
able:  for  if  by  the  law  of  God,  or  nature, 
absolute  power  and  empire  belongs  to  the 
eldest  son  and  his  heirs,  so  that  they  are  su- 
preme monarchs,  and  all  the  rest  of  their 
brethren  slaves,  our  author  gives  us  reason  to 
doubt  whether  the  eldest  son  has  a  power  to 
part  with  it,  to  the  prejudice  of  his  posterity, 
since  he  tells  us,  Observations,  158.     That  in 


grants  and  gifts  that  have  their  original  from 
God  or  nature,  no  inferior  power  of  man  can 
limit  or  make  any  law  of  prescription  against 

<§.  117.  2.  Because  this  place,  Gen.  xxvii. 
29.  brought  by  our  author,  concerns  not  at  all 
the  dominion  of  one  brother  over  the  other,  nor 
the  subjection  of  Esau  to  Jacob :  for  it  is  plain 
in  the  history,  that  Esau  was  never  subject  to 
Jacob,  but  lived  apart  in  mount  Seir,  where  he 
founded  a  distinct  people  and  government, 
and  was  himself  prince  over  them,  as  much  as 
Jacob  was  in  his  own  family.  This  text,  if 
considered,  can  never  be  understood  of  Esau 
himself,  or  the  personal  dominion  of  Jacob  over 
him :  for  the  words  brethren  and  sons  of  thy 
mother,  could  not  be  used  literally  by  Isaac, 
who  knew  Jacob  had  only  one  brother;  and 
these  words  are  so  far  from  being  true  in  a 
literal  sense,  or  establishing  any  dominion  in 
Jacob  over  Esau,  that  in  the  story  we  find  the 
quite  contrary,  for  Gen.  xxxii.  Jacob  several 
times  calls  Esaulord,  and  himself  his  servant; 
and  Gen.  xxxiii.  he  bowed  himself  seven  times 
to  the  ground  to  Esau.  Whether  Esau  then 
were  a  subject  and  vassal  (nay,  as  our  author 
tells  us,  all  subjects  are  slaves)  to  Jacob,  and 
Jacob  his  sovereign  prince  by  birth -right,  I 
leave  the  reader  to  judge;  and  to  believe  if  he 
ran,  that  these  words  of  Isaac,  Ee  lord  over 
thy  brethren,  and  let  thy  mother  s  sons  bow  down 
to  thee,  confirmed  Jacob  in  a  sovereignty  over 

K  2 


Esau,  upon  the  account  of  the  birth-right  he 
had  got  from  him. 

§.  118.  He  that  reads  the  story  of  Jacob  and 
Esau,  will  find  there  was  never  any  jurisdiction 
or  authority,  that  either  of  them  had  over  the 
other  after  their  father's  death:  they  lived  with 
the  friendship  and  equality  of  brethren,  neither 
lord,  neither  slave  to  his  brother ;  but  indepen- 
dent each  of  other,  were  both  heads  of  their 
distinct  families,  where  they  received  no  laws 
from  one  another,  but  lived  separately,  and 
were  the  roots  out  of  which  sprang  two  distinct 
people  under  two  distinct  governments.  This 
blessing  then  of  Isaac,  whereon  our  author 
would  build  the  dominion  of  the  elder  brother, 
signifies  no  more,  but  what  Rebecca  had  been 
told  from  God,  Gen.  xxv.  23.  Two  nations  are 
in  thy  ivomb,  and  tico  manner  of  people  shall  be 
separated  from  thy  bowels,  and  the  one  people 
shall  be  stronger  than  the  other  people,  and  the 
elder  shall  serve  the  younger;  and  so  Jacob 
blessed  Judah,  Gen,  xlix.  and  gave  him  the 
sceptre  and  dominion,  from  whence  our  author 
might  have  argued  as  well,  that  jurisdiction 
and  dominion  belongs  to  the  third  son  over  his 
brethren,  as  well  as  from  this  blessing  of  Isaac, 
that  it  belonged  to  Jacob:  both  these  places 
contain  only  predictions  of  what  should  long 
after  happen  to  their  posterities,  and  not  any 
declaration  of  the  right  of  inheritance  to  do- 
minion in  either.     And  thus  we  have  our  an- 


thDr's  two  great  and  only  arguments  to  prove, 
that  heirs  are  lords  over  their  brethren. 

1.  Because  God  tells  Cain,  Gen.  iv.  that 
however  sin  might  set  upon  him,  he  ought  or 
might  be  master  of  it :  for  the  most  learned  in- 
terpreters understood  the  words  of  sin,  and  not 
of  Abel,  and  give  so  strong  reasons  for  it,  that 
nothing  can  convincingly  be  inferred  from  so 
doubtful  a  text,  to  our  author's  purpose. 

2.  Because  in  this  of  Gen.  xxvii.  Isaac  fore- 
tels  that  the  Israelites,  the  posterity  of  Jacob, 
should  have  dominion  over  the  Edomites,  the 
posterity  of  Esau ;  therefore  says  our  author, 
heirs  are  lords  of  their  brethren:  I  leave  any 
one  to  judge  of  the  conclusion. 

§.  119.  And  now  we  see  how  our  author 
has  provided  for  the  descending,  and  convey- 
ance down  of  Adams  monarchical  power,  or 
paternal  dominion  to  posterity,  by  the  inhe- 
ritance of  his  heir,  succeeding  to  all  his  father's 
authority,  and  becoming  upon  his  death  as 
much  lord  as  his  father  was,  not  only  over  his 
own  children,  but  over  his  brethren,  and  all 
descended  from  his  father,  and  so  in  infinitum. 
But  yet  who  this  heir  is,  he  does  not  once  tell 
us ;  and  all  the  light  we  have  from  him  in  this 
so  fundamental  a  point,  is  only,  that  in  his  in- 
stance of  Jacob,  by  using  the  word  birth-right, 
as  that  which  passed  from  Esau  to  Jacob,  he 
haves  us  to  guess,  that  by  heir,  he  means  the 
eldest  son;  though  I  do  not  remember  he  any 
where  mentions  expressly  the  title  of  the  first- 


born,  but  all    along  keeps  himself  under  the 
shelter  of  the  indefinite  term  heir.     But  taking 
it  to  be  his  meaning,  that  the  eldest  son  is  heir, 
(for  if  the  eldest  be  not,  there  will  be  no  pre- 
tence why  the  sons  should  not  be    all  heirs 
alike)  and  so   by  right  of  primogeniture  has 
dominion  over  his  brethren ;    this  is  but  one 
step  towards  the  settlement  of  succession,  and 
the  difficulties  remain  still  as  much  as  ever,  till 
he  can  shew  us  who  is  meant  by  right  heir,  in 
all  those  cases  which  may  happen  where  the 
present  possessor  hath  no  son.    This  he  silently 
passes  over,  and  perhaps  wisely  too :  for  what 
can  be  wiser,  after  one  has  affirmed,  that  the 
person  having  that  power,  as  icell  as  the  power 
and  form  of  government,  is   the  ordinance  of 
God,  and  by  divine  institution,  vid.  Observations, 
254.  p.  12.  than  to  be  careful,  not  to  start  any 
question  concerning  the  person,  the  resolution 
whereof  will  certainly  lead  him  into  a  confes- 
sion,  that  God    and    nature  hath   determined 
nothing  about  him?  And  if  our  author  cannot 
shew  who  by  right  of  nature,  or  a  clear  positive 
law  of  God,  has  the  next  right  to  inherit  the 
dominion  of  this  natural  monarch  he  has  been 
at  such  pains  about,  when  he   died  without  a 
son,  he  might  have  spared  his  pains  in  all  the 
rest,  it  being  more  necessary  for  the  settling 
men's  consciences,  and  determining  their  sub- 
jection and  allegiance,  to   shew  them  who  by 
original  right,  superior  and  antecedent  to  the 
will,  or  any  act   of  men,  hath  a  title  to  this 

OF    GOVERNMENT.  13-5 

paternal  jurisdiction,  than  it  is  to  shew  that  by 
nature  there  was  such  a  jurisdiction;  it  being 
to  no  purpose  for  me  to  know  there  is  such  a 
paternal  power,  which  I  ought,  and  am  dis- 
posed to  obey,  unless,  where  there  are  many 
pretenders,  I  also  know  the  person  that  is 
rightfully  invested  and  endowed  with  it. 

<§.  120.  For  the  main  matter  in  question 
being  concerning  the  duty  of  my  obedience, 
and  the  obligation  of  conscience  I  am  under  to 
pay  it  to  him  that  is  of  right  my  lord  and  ruler, 
1  must  know  the  person  that  this  right  of  pater- 
nal power  resides  in,  and  so  impowers  him  to 
claim  obedience  from  me:  for  let  it  be  true 
what  he  says,  p.  12.  That  civil  poiver  not  only 
in  general  is  by  divine  institution,  but  even  the 
assignment  of  it  specially  to  the  eldest  parents  ; 
and  Observations,  254.  That  not  only  the 
power,  or  right  of  government,  but  the  form  of 
the  power  of  governing,  and  the  person  having 
that  power,  are  all  the  ordinance  of  God ;  yet 
unless  he  shew  us  in  all  cases,  who  is  this 
person  ordained  by  God,  who  is  this  eldest 
parent;  all  his  abstract  notions  of  monarchical 
power  will  signify  just  nothing,  when  they  are 
to  be  reduced  to  practice,  and  men  are  con- 
scientiously to  pay  their  obedience  :  for  paternal 
jurisdiction  being  not  the  thing  to  be  obeyed, 
because  it  cannot  command,  but  is  only  that 
which  gives  one  man  a  right  which  another 
hath  not,  and  if  it  come  by  inheritance,  another 
man  cannot  have,  to  command  and  be  obeyed ; 


it  is  ridiculous  to  say,  I  pay  obedience  to  the 
paternal  powe?',  when  I  obey  him,  to  whom 
paternal  power  gives  uo  right  to  my  obedience : 
for  he  can  have  no  divine  right  to  my  obedience, 
who  cannot  shew  his  divine  right  to  the  power 
of  ruling  over  me,  as  well  as  that  by  divine 
right  there  is  such  a  power  in  the  world. 

<§.  121.  And  hence  not  being  able  to  make 
out  any  princes  title  to  government,  as  heir  to 
Adam,  which  therefore  is  of  no  use,  and  had 
been  better  let  alone,  he  is  fain  to  resolve  all 
into  present  possession,  and  make  civil  obe- 
dience as  due  to  an  usurper,  as  to  a  lawful 
king ;  and  thereby  the  usurper  s  title  as  good. 
His  words  are,  Observations,  253.  and  they 
deserve  to  be  remembered  :  If  an  usurper  dis- 
possess the  true  heir,  the  subjects  obedience  to 
the  fatherly  power  must  go  along,  and  wait 
upon  God's  providence.  But  I  shall  leave  his 
title  of  usurpers  to  be  examined  in  its  due 
place,  and  desire  my  sober  reader  to  consider 
what  thanks  princes  owe  such  politics  as  this, 
which  can  suppose  paternal  poiver  (i.  e.)  a  right 
to  government  in  the  hands  of  a  Cade,  or  a 
Cromwell ;  and  so  all  obedience  being  due  to 
paternal  power,  the  obedience  of  subjects  will 
be  due  to  them,  by  the  same  right,  and  upon 
as  good  grounds,  as  it  is  to  lawful  princes ; 
and  yet  this,  as  dangerous  a  doctrine  as  it  is, 
must  necessarily  follow  from  making  all  politi- 
cal power  to  be  nothing  else,  but  Adam's  pa- 
ternal   power  by  right  and   divine   institution, 


descending  from  him  without  being  able  to 
shew  to  whom  it  descended,  or  who  is  heir  to  it. 

§.  12*2.  To  settle  government  in  the  world, 
and  to  lay  obligations  to  obedience  on  any 
man's  conscience,  it  is  necessary  (supposing 
with  our  author  that  all  power  be  nothing  but 
the  being  possessed  of  Adams  j  at  her  hood)  to 
satisfy  him,  who  has  a  right  to  this  power,  this 
fatherhood,  when  the  possessor  dies  without 
sons  to  succeed  immediately  to  it,  as  it  was  to 
tell  him,  that  upon  the  death  of  the  father,  the 
eldest  son  had  a  right  to  it:  for  it  is  still  to  be 
remembered,  that  the  great  question  is,  (and 
that  which  our  author  would  be  thought  to 
contend  for,  if  he  did  not  sometimes  forget  it) 
what  persons  have  a  right  to  be  obeyed,  and 
not  whether  there  be  a  power  in  the  world, 
which  is  to  be  called  paternal,  without  knowing 
in  whom  it  resides  :  for  so  it  be  a  power,  i.  e. 
right  to  govern,  it  matters  not,  whether  it  be 
termed  paternal  or  regal,  natural  or  acquired; 
whether  you  call  it  supreme  fatherhood,  or  su- 
preme brotherhood,  will  be  all  one,  provided  we 
know  who  has  it. 

§.  123.  I  go  on  then  to  ask,  whether  in  the 
inheriting  of  this  paternal  power,  this  supreme 
fatherhood,  the  grandson  by  a  daughter  hath  a 
right  before  a  nephew  by  a  brother  ?  Whether 
the  grandson  by  the  eldest  son,  being  an  infant, 
before  the  younger  son,  a  man  and  able? 
\\  hether  the  daughter  before  (he  uncle  ?  or  any 
other  man,  descended  by  a  male  line?  Whether 


a  grandson  by  a  young  daughter,  before  a 
grand-daughter  by  an  elder  daughter?  Whether 
the  elder  son  by  a  concubine,  before  a  younger 
son  by  a  wife?  From  whence  also  will  arise 
many  questions  of  legitimation,  and  what  in 
nature  is  the  difference  betwixt  a  wife  and  a 
concubine?  for  as  to  the  municipal  or  positive 
laws  of  men,  they  can  signify  nothing  here. 
It  may  farther  be  asked,  Whether  the  eldest 
son,  being  a  fool,  shall  inherit  this  paternal 
■power,  before  the  younger,  a  wise  man  ?  and 
what  degree  of  folly  it  must  be  that  shall  ex- 
clude him?  and  who  shall  be  judge  of  it? 
Whether  the  son  of  a  fool,  excluded  for  his 
folly,  before  the  son  of  his  wise  brother  who 
reigned?  Who  has  the  paternal  power  whilst 
the  widow-queen  is  with  child  by  the  deceased 
king,  and  nobody  knows  whether  it  will  be  a 
son  or  a  daughter?  Which  shall  be  heir  of  the 
two  male-twins,  who  by  the  dissection  of  the 
mother  were  laid  open  to  the  world ?  Whether 
a  sister  by  the  half  blood,  before  a  brother's 
daughter  by  the  whole  blood  ? 

§.  124.  These,  and  many  more  such  doubts, 
might  be  proposed  about  the  titles  of  succes- 
sion, and  the  right  of  inheritance  ;  and  that  not 
as  idle  speculations,  but  such  as  in  history  we 
shall  find  have  concerned  the  inheritance  of 
crowns  and  kingdoms;  and  if  ours  want  them, 
we  need  not  go  farther  for  famous  examples  of 
it,  than  the  other  kingdom  in  this  very  island, 
which  having  been  fully  related  by  the  ingenious 


and  learned  author  of  Patriarcha  non  Monar- 
ches, I  need  say  no  more  of.  Till  our  author 
hath  resolved  all  the  doubts  that  may  arise 
about  the  next  heir,  and  shewed  that  they  are 
plainly  determined  by  the  law  of  nature,  or  the 
revealed  law  of  God,  all  his  suppositions  of  a 
monarchical,  absolute,  supreme,  paternal  power 
in  Adam,  and  the  descent  of  that  power  to  his 
heirs,  would  not  be  of  the  least  use  to  establish 
the  authority,  or  make  out  the  title,  of  any  one 
prince  now  on  earth  ;  but  would  rather  unsettle 
and  bring  all  into  question :  for  let  our  author 
tell  us  as  long  as  he  pleases,  and  let  all  men 
believe  it  too,  that  Adam  had  a  paternal,  and 
thereby  a  monarchical  power;  that  this  (the 
on\y power  in  the  world)  descended  to  his  heirs; 
and  that  there  is  no  other  power  in  the  world 
but  this :  let  this  be  all  as  clear  demonstration, 
as  it  is  manifest  error,  yet  if  it  be  not  past 
doubt,  to  whom  this  paternal  power  descends, 
and  whose  now  it  is,  nobody  can  be  under  any 
obligation  of  obedience,  unless  any  one  will  say, 
that  I  am  bound  to  pay  obedience  to  paternal 
poiver  in  a  man  who  has  no  more  paternal  power 
than  1  myself;  which  is  all  one  as  to  say,  I 
obey  a  man,  because  he  has  a  right  to  govern ; 
and  if  I  be  asked,  how  I  know  he  has  a  right  to 
govern,  I  should  answer,  it  cannot  be  known, 
that  he  has  any  at  all :  for  that  cannot  be  the 
reason  of  my  obedience,  which  I  know  not  to  be 
so  ;  much  less  can  that  be  a  reason  of  my  obe- 
dience, which  nobody  at  all  can  know  to  be  so. 


§.  125.  And  therefore  all  this  ado  about 
Adam's  fatherhood,  the  greatness  of  its  power, 
and  the  necessity  of  its  supposal,  helps  nothing 
to  establish  the  power  of  those  that  govern,  or 
to  determine  the  obedience  of  subjects  who 
are  to  obey,  if  they  cannot  tell  whom  they  are 
to  obey,  or  it  cannot  be  known  who  are  to 
govern,  and  who  to  obey.  In  the  state  the 
world  is  now,  it  is  irrecoverably  ignorant,  who 
is  Adams  heir.  This  fatherhood,  this  monar- 
chical power  of  Adam,  descending  to  his  heirs, 
would  be  of  no  more  use  to  the  government  of 
mankind,  than  it  would  be  to  the  quieting  of 
men's  consciences,  or  securing  their  healths,  if 
our  author  had  assured  them,  that  Adam  had 
a  power  to  forgive  sins,  or  cure  diseases,  which 
by  divine  institution  descended  to  his  heir, 
whilst  this  heir  is  impossible  to  be  known. 
And  should  not  he  do  as  rationally,  who  upon 
this  assurance  of  our  author  went  and  confes- 
sed his  sins,  and  expected  a  good  absolution ; 
or  took  physic  with  expectation  of  health,  from 
any  one  who  had  taken  on  himself  the  name 
of  priest  or  physician,  or  thrust  himself  into 
those  employments,  saying,  I  acquiesce  in  the 
absolving  power  descending  from  Adam,  or  I 
shall  be  cured  by  the  medicinal  power  descend- 
ing from  Adam ;  as  he  who  says,  I  submit  to 
and  obey  the  paternal  power  descending  from 
Adam,  when  it  is  confessed  all  these  powers 
descend  only  to  his  single  heir,  and  that  heir 
is  unknown. 


§.  120.  It  is  true,  the  civil  lawyers  have 
pretended  to  determine  some  of  these  cases 
concerning  the  succession  of  princes ;  but  by 
our  authors  principles,  they  have  meddled  in 
a  matter  that  belongs  not  to  them :  for  if  all 
political  power  be  derived  only  from  Adam, 
and  be  to  descend  only  to  his  successive  heirs, 
by  the  ordinance  of  God  and  divine  institution, 
this  is  a  right  antecedent  and  paramount  to  all 
government;  and  therefore  the  positive  laws  of 
men  cannot  determine  that  which  is  itself  the 
foundation  of  all  law  and  government,  and  is 
to  receive  its  rule  only  from  the  law  of  God 
and  nature.  And  that  being  silent  in  the  case, 
I  am  apt  to  think  there  is  no  such  right  to  be 
conveyed  this  way  :  I  am  sure  it  would  be  to 
no  purpose  if  there  were,  and  men  would  be 
more  at  a  loss  concerning  government,  and 
obedience  to  governors,  than  if  there  were  no 
such  right ;  since  by  positive  laws  and  compact, 
which  divine  institution  (if  there  be  any)  shuts 
out,  all  these  endless  inextricable  doubts  can 
be  safely  provided  against :  but  it  can  never  be 
understood,  how  a  divine  natural  right,  and 
that  of  such  moment  as  is  all  order  and  peace 
in  the  world,  should  be  conveyed  down  to 
posterity,  without  any  plain  natural  or  divine 
rule  concerning  it.  And  there  would  be  an 
end  of  all  civil  government,  if  the  assignment 
of  civil  power  were  by  divine  institution  to  the 
heir,  and  yet  by  that  divine  institution  the  per- 
son of  the  heir  could   not  be  known.      This 


paternal  regal  power  being  by  divine  right  only 
his,  it  leaves  no  room  for  human  prudence,  or 
consent,  to  place  it  any  where  else  ;  for  if  only 
one  man  hath  a  divine  right  to  the  obedience  of 
mankind,  nobody  can  claim  that  obedience, 
but  he  that  can  shew  that  right ;  nor  can  men's 
consciences  by  any  other  pretence  be  obliged 
to  it.  And  thus  this  doctrine  cuts  up  all 
government  by  the  roots. 

§.  127.  Thus  we  see  how  our  author,  laying 
it  for  a  sure  foundation,  that  the  very  person 
that  is  to  rule,  is  the  ordinance  of  God,  and  by 
divine  institution,  tells  us  at  large,  only  that 
this  person  is  the  heir,  but  who  this  heir  is,  he 
leaves  us  to  guess  ;  and  so  this  divine  institu- 
tion, which  assigns  it  to  a  person  whom  we 
have  no  rule  to  know,  is  just  as  good  as  an 
assignment  to  nobody  at  all.  But,  whatever 
our  author  does,  divine  institution  makes  no 
such  ridiculous  assignments :  nor  can  God  be 
supposed  to  make  it  a  sacred  law,  that  one 
certain  person  should  have  a  right  to  some- 
thing, and  yet  not  give  rules  to  mark  out,  and 
know  that  person  by,  or  give  an  heir  a  divine 
right  to  power,  and  yet  not  point  out  who  that 
heir  is.  It  is  rather  to  be  thought,  that  an  heir 
had  no  such  right  by  divine  institution,  than 
that  God  should  give  such  a  right  to  the  heir, 
but  yet  leave  it  doubtful  and  undeterminable 
Avho  such  heir  is. 

§.  128.  If  God  had  given  the  land  of  Canaan 
to  Abraham,   and   in  general    terms    to  some- 


body  after  him,  without  naming  his  seed, 
whereby  it  might  be  known  who  that  some- 
body was,  it  would  have  been  as  good  and 
useful  an  assignment,  to  determine  the  right 
to  the  land  of  Canaan,  as  it  would  be  the  de- 
termining the  right  of  crowns,  to  give  empire 
to  Adam  and  his  successive  heirs  after  him, 
without  telling  who  his  heir  is:  for  the  word 
heir,  without  a  rule  to  know  who  it  is,  signifies 
no  more  than  somebody,  I  know  not  whom. 
God  making  it  a  divine  institution,  that  men 
should  not  marry  those  who  were  near  of  kin, 
thinks  it  not  enough  to  say,  None  of  you  shall 
approach  to  any  that  is  near  of  kin  to  him,  to 
uncover  their  nakedness ;  but  moreover,  gives 
rules  to  know  who  are  those  near  of  kin,  for- 
bidden by  divine  institution;  or  else  that  law 
would  have  been  of  no  use,  it  being  to  no 
purpose  to  lay  restraint,  or  give  privileges  to 
men,  in  such  general  terms,  as  the  particular 
person  concerned  cannot  be  known  by.  But 
God  not  having  any  where  said,  the  next  heir 
shall  inherit  all  his  father's  estate  or  dominion, 
we  are  not  to  wonder,  that  he  hath  no  where 
appointed  who  that  heir  should  be ;  for  never 
having  intended  any  such  thing,  never  designed 
any  heir  in  that  sense,  we  cannot  expect  he 
should  any  where  nominate,  or  appoint  any 
person  to  it,  as  we  might,  had  it  been  otherwise. 
And  therefore  in  scripture,  though  the  word 
heir  occur,  vet  there  is  no  such  tiling-  as  heir 
in  our  author's  sense,  one  that  was  by  right  of 


nature  to  inherit  all  that  his  father  had,  exclu- 
sive of  his  brethren.  Hence  Sarah  supposes, 
that  if  Ishmael  staid  in  the  house,  to  share  in 
Abrahams  estate  after  his  death,  this  son  of 
a  bond-woman  might  be  heir  with  Isaac  ;  and 
therefore,  says  she,  cast  out  this  bond-icoman 
and  her  son,  for  the  son  of  this  bond-woman  shall 
iwl  be  heir  with  my  son :  but  this  cannot  excuse 
our  author,  who  telling  us  there  is,  in  every 
number  of  men,  one  who  is  right  and  next  heir 
to  Adam,  ought  to  have  told  us  what  the  laws 
of  descent  are ;  but  he  having  been  so  sparing 
to  instruct  us  by  rules,  how  to  know  who  is 
heir,  let  us  see  in  the  next,  place,  what  his 
history  out  of  scripture,  on  which  he  pretends 
wholly  to  build  his  government,  give  us  in  this 
necessary  and  fundamental  point. 

§.  129.  Our  author,  to  make  good  the  title 
of  his  book,  p.  13.  begins  his  history  of  the 
descent  of  Adam's  regal  power,  p.  13.  in  these 
words :  This  lordship  which  Adam  by  com- 
ma/id had  over  the  whole  world,  and  by  right 
descending  from  him,  the  patriarchs  did  enjoy, 
was  a  large,  &c.  How  does  he  prove  that  the 
patriarchs  by  descent  did  enjoy  it  ?  for  dominion 
of  life  and  death,  says  he,  we  find  Judah  the 
father  pronounced  sentence  of  death  against 
Thamar  his  daughter-in-law  for  playing  the 
harlot,  p.  13.  How  does  this  prove  that  Judah 
had  absolute  and  sovereign  authority?  he  pro- 
nounced sentence  of  death.  The  pronouncing 
of  sentence  of  death  is  not  a  certain  mark  of 


sovereignty,  but  usually  the  office  of  inferior 
magistrates.      The  power  of  making  laws   of 
life  and  death  is  indeed  a  mark  of  sovereignty, 
but   pronouncing   the    sentence    according    to 
those  laws  may  be  done  by  others,  and  there- 
fore this  will  but  ill  prove  that  he  had  sovereign 
authority :  as  if  one  should  say,  Judge  Jefferies 
pronounced  sentence  of  death  in  the  late  times, 
therefore  Judge  Jefferies  had  sovereign  autho- 
rity.    But  it  will  be  said,  Judah  did  it  not  by 
commission   from   another,   and  therefore  did 
it  in  his  own  right.     Who  knows  whether  he 
had  any  right  at  all?  Heat  of  passion  might 
carry  him  to  do  that  which  he  had  no  authority 
to  do.     Judah  had  dominion  of  life  and  death : 
how   does  that  appear?    He  exercised  it,  he 
pronounced  sentence  of  death  against  Thamar : 
our  author  thinks  it  is   very  good  proof,  that 
because  he  did  it,  therefore  he  had  a  right  to 
do  it :  he  lay  with  her  also :  by  the  same  way 
of  proof,  he  had  a  right  to  do  that  too.     If  the 
consequence  be   good   from   doing  to  a  right 
of    doing,    Absalom    too    may    be    reckoned 
amongst  our  author's   sovereigns,  for  he  pro- 
nounced such  a  sentence  of  death   against  his 
brother  Amnon,  and  much  upon  a  like  occasion, 
and  had  it  executed  too,  if  that  be  sufficient  to 
prove  a  dominion  of  life  and  death. 

But  allowing  this  all  to  be  clear  demonstra- 
tion of  sovereign  power,  who  was  it  that  had 
this  lordship  by  right  descending  to  him  from 
Adam,  as  large  and  ample   as  the   absolutcst 


146'  OF    GOVERNMENT. 

dominion  of  any  monarch?  Judah,  says  ouv 
author,  Judah,  a  younger  son  of  Jacob,  his 
father  and  elder  brethren  living ;  so  that  if  our 
author's  own  proof  be  to  be  taken,  a  younger 
brother  may,  in  the  life  of  his  father  and  elder 
brothers,  by  right  of  descent,  enjoy  Adam's 
monarchical  power;  and  if  one  so  qualified 
may  be  monarch  by  descent,  why  may  not 
every  man?  If  Judah,  his  father  and  elder 
brother  living,  were  one  of  Adams  heirs,  I 
know  not  who  can  be  excluded  from  this 
inheritance;  all  men  by  inheritance  may  be 
monarchs  as  well  as  Judah. 

§.  130.  'Touching  war,  we  see  that  Abraham 
commanded  an  army  of  three  hundred  and 
eighteen  soldiers  of  his  own  family,  and  Esau 
met  his  brother  Jacob  with  four  hundred  men 
at  arms:  for  matter  of  peace,  Abraham  made 
a  league  with  Abimelech,  Src.  p.  13.  Is  it  not 
possible  for  a  man  to  have  three  hundred  and 
eighteen  men  in  his  family,  without  being  heir 
to  Adam?  A  planter  in  the  West  Indies  has 
more,  and  might,  if  he  pleased,  (who  doubts?) 
muster  them  up  and  lead  them  out  against  the 
Indians,  to  seek  reparation  upon  any  injury 
received  from  them ;  and  all  this  without  the 
absolute  dominion  of  a  monarch,  descending  to 
him  from  Adam.  Would  it  not  be  an  ad- 
mirable argument  to  prove,  that  all  power  by 
God's  institution  descended  from  Adam  by 
inheritance,  and  that  the  very  person  and 
power  of  this  planter  were  the  ordinance  of  God, 


because  he  had  power  in  his  family  over  ser- 
vants, horn  in  his  house,  and  bought  with  his 
money?  For  this  was  just  Abraham's  case; 
Ihose  who  were  rich  in  the  patriarch's  days, 
as  in  the  West  Indies  now,  bought  men  and 
maid  servants,  and  by  their  increase,  as  well 
as  purchasing-  of  new,  came  to  have  large  and 
numerous  families,  which  though  they  made 
use  of  in  war  or  peace,  can  it  be  thought  the 
power  they  had  over  them  was  an  inheritance 
descended  from  Adam,  when  it  was  the  pur- 
chase of  their  money?  A  man's  riding  in  an 
expedition  against  an  enemy,  his  horse  bought 
in  a  fair  would  be  as  good  a  proof  that  the 
owner  enjoyed  the  lordship  which  Adam  by 
command  had  over  the  whole  world,  by  right 
of  descending  to  him,  as  Abrahams  leading  out 
the  servants  of  his  family  is,  that  the  patriarchs 
enjoyed  this  lordship  by  descent  from  Adam : 
since  the  title  to  the  power,  the  master  had 
in  both  cases,  whether  over  slaves  or  horses, 
was  only  from  his  purchase ;  and  the  getting 
a  dominion  over  any  thing  by  bargain  and 
money,  is  a  new  way  of  proving  one  had  it  by 
descent  and  inheritance. 

§.  131.  13 Hi  making  tear  and  peace  are  marks 
of  sovereignty.  Let  it  be  so  in  politic  socie- 
ties: may  not  therefore  a  man  in  the  West 
Indies,  who  hath  with  him  sons  of  his  own, 
friends,  or  companions,  soldiers  under  pay,  or 
slaves  bought  with  money,  or  perhaps  a  band 
made  up  all  of  these,  make  war  and  peace,  if 

l  2 


there  should  be  occasion,  and  ratify  the  articles 
too  with  an  oath,  without  being  a  sovereign,  an 
absolute  king  over  those  who  went  with  him  ? 
He  that  says  he  cannot,  must  then  allow  many 
masters  of  ships,  many  private  planters,  to  be 
absolute  monarchs,  for  as  much  as  this  they 
have  done.  War  and  peace  cannot  be  made 
for  politic  societies,  but  by  the  supreme  power 
of  such  societies ;  because  war  and  peace, 
giving  a  different  motion  to  the  force  of  such  a 
politic  body,  none  can  make  war  or  peace,  but 
that  which  has  the  direction  of  the  force  of  the 
whole  body,  and  that  in  politic  societies  is  only 
the  supreme  power.  In  voluntary  societies  for 
the  time,  he  that  has  such  a  power  by  consent, 
may  make  war  and  peace,  and  so  may  a  single 
man  for  himself,  the  state  of  war  not  consisting 
in  the  number  of  jJartisans,  but  the  enmity  of 
the  parties,  where  they  have  no  superior  to 
appeal  to. 

§.  132.  The  actual  making  of  war  or  peace, 
is  no  proof  of  any  other  power,  but  only  of 
disposing  those  to  exercise  or  cease  acts  of 
enmity  for  whom  he  makes  it ;  and  this  power 
in  many  cases  any  one  may  have  without  any 
politic  supremacy :  and  therefore  the  making 
of  war  or  peace  will  not  prove  that  every  one 
that  does  so  is  a  politic  ruler,  much  less  a  king ; 
for  then  commonwealths  must  be  kings  too, 
for  they  do  as  certainly  make  war  and  peace 
as  monarchical  government. 

§.  133.  But  granting  this  a  mark  of  sove- 


reignty  in  Abraham,  it  is  a  proof  of  the  descent 
to  him  of  Adam's  sovereignty  over  the  whole 
world?  If  it  be,  it  will  surely  be  as  good  a 
proof  of  the  descent  of  Adam's  lordship  to 
other's  too.  And  then  commonwealths,  as 
well  as  Abraham,  will  be  heirs  of  Adam,  for 
they  make  ivar  and  peace,  as  well  as  he.  If 
you  say,  that  the  lordship  of  Adam  doth  not  by 
right  descend  to  commonwealths,  though  they 
make  war  and  peace,  the  same  say  I  of  Abra- 
ham, and  then  there  is  an  end  of  your  argu- 
ment :  if  you  stand  to  your  argument,  and  say 
those  that  do  make  war  and  peace,  as  com- 
monwealths do  without  doubt,  do  inherit 
Adam's  lordship,  there  is  an  end  of  your  mo- 
narchy, unless  you  will  say,  that  common- 
wealths by  descent  enjoying  Adam's  lordship 
are  monarchies  ;  and  that  indeed  would  be  a 
new  way  of  making  all  the  governments  in  the 
world  monarchical. 

<§.  134.  To  give  our  author  the  honour  of 
this  new  invention,  for  I  confess  it  is  not  I  have 
first  found  it  out  by  tracing  his  principles,  and 
so  charged  it  on  him,  it  is  fit  my  readers  know 
that  (as  absurd  as  it  may  seem)  he  teaches  it 
himself,  p.  23.  where  he  ingenuously  says,  In 
all  kingdoms  and  commonwealths  in  the  world, 
whether  the  prince  be  the  supreme  father  of  the 
people,  or  but  the  true  heir  to  such  a  father,  or 
come  to  the  crown  by  usurpation  or  election,  or 
whether  some  few  or  a  multitude  govern  the 


commonwealth;  yet  still  the  authority  that  is  in 
any  one,  or  in  many,  or  in  all  these,  is  the  only 
right,  and  natural  authority  of  a  supreme father  ; 
which  right  of  fatherhood,  he  often  tells  us,  is 
regal  and  royal  authority;  as  particularly,  p. 
12.  the  page  immediately  preceding  this  instance 
of  Abraham.  This  regal  authority,  he  says, 
those  that  govern  commonwealths  have;  and 
if  it  be  true,  that  regal  and  royal  authority  be 
in  those  that  govern  commonwealths,  it  is  as 
true  that  commonwealths  are  governed  by 
kings ;  for  if  regal  authority  be  in  him  that  go- 
verns, he  that  governs  must  needs  be  a  king, 
and  so  all  commonwealths  are  nothing  but 
downright  monarchies  ;  and  then  what  need 
any  more  ado  about  the  matter  ?  The  govern- 
ments of  the  world  are  as  they  should  be,  there 
is  nothing  but  monarchy  in  it.  This,  without 
doubt,  was  the  surest  way  our  author  could 
have  found,  to  turn  all  other  governments,  but 
monarchical,  out  of  the  world. 

^.  13-5.  But  all  this  scarce  proves  Abraham 
to  have  been  a  king  as  heir  to  Adam.  If  by 
inheritance  he  had  been  king,  Lot,  who  was 
of  the  same  family,  must  needs  have  been  his 
subject,  by  that  title,  before  the  servants  in  his 
family ;  but  we  see  they  lived  as  friends  and 
equals,  and  when  their  herdsmen  could  not 
agree,  there  was  no  pretence  of  jurisdiction  or 
superiority  between  them,  but  they  parted  by 
consent,  Gen.  xiii.  hence  he  is  called   both  by 


Abraham,  and  by  the  text,  Abrahams  brother, 
the  name  of  friendship  and  equality,  and  not 
of  jurisdiction  and  authority,  though  he  were 
really  but  his  nephew.  And  if  our  author 
knows  that  Abraham  was  Adams  heir,  and  a 
king-,  it  was  more,  it  seems,  than  Abraham 
himself  knew,  or  his  servant  whom  he  sent  a 
wooing  for  his  son ;  for  when  he  sets  out  the 
advantages  of  the  match,  Gen.  xxiv.  35.  there- 
by to  prevail  with  the  young  woman  and  her 
friends,  he  says,  /  am  Abraham's  servant,  and 
the  Lord  hath  blessed  my  master  greatly,  and  he 
is  become  great;  and  he  hath  given  him  flocks 
and  herds,  and  silver  and  gold,  and  men-ser- 
vants and  maid-servants,  and  camels  and  asses : 
and  Sarah,  my  master  s  wife,  bare  a  son  to  my 
master  when  she  teas  old,  and  unto  him  hath  he 
given  all  he  hath.  Can  one  think  that  a  dis- 
creet servant  that  was  thus  particular  to  set  out 
his  master's  greatness,  would  have  omitted  the 
crown  Isaac  was  to  have,  if  he  had  known  of 
any  such?  Can  it  be  imagined  he  should  have 
neglected  to  have  told  them  on  such  an  occa- 
sion as  this,  that  Abraham  was  a  king,  a  name 
well  known  at  that  time,  for  he  had  nine  of 
them  his  neighbours,  if  he  or  his  master  had 
thought  any  such  thing,  the  likeliest  matter  of 
all  the  rest,  to  make  his  errand  successful  ? 

§.  136.  But  this  discovery  it  seems  was  re- 
served for  our  author  to  make  two  or  three 
thousand  years  after,  and  let  him  enjoy  the 
credit  of  it;  only  he  should   have  taken  care 


that  some  of  Adam's  land  should  have  de- 
scended to  this  bis  heir,  as  well  as  all  Adam's 
lordship  :  for  though  this  lordship  which  Abra- 
ham, (if  we  may  believe  our  author)  as  well  as 
the  other  patriarchs,  by  right  descending  to  him 
did  enjoy,  ivas  as  large  and  ample  as  the  abso- 
lutest  dominion  of  any  monarch  which  hath  been 
since  the  creation ;  yet  his  estate,  his  territories, 
his  dominions  were  very  narrow  and  scanty,  for 
he  had  not  the  possession  of  a  foot  of  land,  till 
he  bought  a  field  and  a  cave  of  the  sons  of 
Heth  to  bury  Sarah  in. 

§.  137.  The  instance  of  Esau  joined  with 
this  of  Abraham,  to  prove  that  the  lordship 
which  Adam  had  over  the  whole  icorld,  by  right 
descending  from  him,  the  patriarchs  did  enjoy, 
is  yet  more  pleasant  than  the  former.  Esau 
met  his  brother  Jacob  with  four  hundred  men  at 
arms :  he  therefore  was  a  king  by  right  of  heir 
to  Adam.  Four  hundred  armed  men  then, 
however  got  together,  are  enough  to  prove  him 
that  leads  them,  to  be  a  king  and  Adams  heir. 
There  have  been  tories  in  Ireland,  (whatever 
there  are  in  other  countries)  who  would  have 
thanked  our  author  for  so  honourable  an  opi- 
nion of  them,  especially  if  there  had  been  no- 
body near  with  a  better  title  of  five  hundred 
armed  men,  to  question  their  royal  authority  of 
four  hundred.  It  is  a  shame  for  men  to  trifle 
so,  to  say  no  worse  of  it,  in  so  serious  an  argu- 
ment. Here  Esau  is  brought  as  a  proof  that 
Adams  lordship,  Adams  absolute  dominion,  as 


huge  as  that  of  any  monarch,  descended  by  right 
to  the  patriarchs,  and  in  this  very  chap.  p.  19. 
Jacob  is  brought  as  an  instance  of  one,  that  by 
birth-right  ivas  lord  over  his  brethren.     So  we 
have  here   two  brothers  absolute  monarchs  by 
the  same  title,  and  at  the  same  time  heirs  to 
Adam,  the  eldest,  heir  to  Adam,  because  he 
met  his   brother  with  four  hundred  men  ;  and 
the   youngest,  heir   to   Adam    by  birth-right. 
Esau  enjoyed  the  lordship  ivhich  Adam    had 
over  the  ivhole  world  by  right  descending  to  him 
in  as  large  and  ample  manner,  as  the  absolutest 
dominion  of  any   monarch  ;    and  at  the  same 
time,  Jacob  lord  over  him,  by  the  right  heirs 
have  to  be   lords  over  their  brethren.     JRismn 
tcneatis  ?  I  never,  I  confess,  met  with  any  man 
of  parts  so  dexterous  as  Sir  Robert  at  this  way 
of  arguing:  but  it  was  his  misfortune  to  light 
upon  an  hypothesis,  that  could  not  be  accom- 
modated to   the  nature  of  things,  and  humau 
affairs ;  his  principles  could  not  be   made  to 
agree  with  that  constitution  and  order,  which 
God  had  settled  in  the    world,  and  therefore 
must  needs  often  clash  with  common  sense  and 

§.  138.  In  the  next  section,  he  tells  us  This 
patriarchal  power  continued  not  only  till  the 
flood,  but  after  it,  as  the  name  patriarch  doth 
in  part  prove.  The  word  patriarch  doth  more 
than  in  part  prove,  that  patriarchal  power 
continued  in  the  world  as  long  as  there  were 
patriarchs,  for  it  is  necessary  that  patriarchal 


power  should  be  whilst  there  are  patriarchs ; 
as  it  is  necessary  there  should  be  paternal  or 
conjugal  power  whilst  there  are  fathers  or 
husbands ;  but  this  is  but  playing  with  names. 
That  which  he  would  fallaciously  insinuate  is 
the  thing  in  question  to  be  proved,  viz.  that  the 
lordship  which  Adam  had  over  the  ivorld,  the 
supposed  absolute  universal  dominion  of  Adam 
by  right  descending  Jrom  him,  the  patriarchs 
did  enjoy.  If  he  affirms  such  an  absolute 
monarchy  continued  to  the  flood,  in  the  world, 
I  would  be  glad  to  know  what  records  he  has 
it  from ;  for  I  confess  I  cannot  find  a  word 
of  it  in  my  Bible:  if  by  patriarchal  potter  he 
means  any  thing  else;  it  is  nothing  to  the 
matter  in  hand.  And  how  the  name  patriarch 
in  some  part  proves,  that  those,  who  are 
called  by  that  name,  had  absolute  monarchical 
power,  I  confess,  I  do  not  see,  and  therefore  I 
think  needs  no  answer  till  the  argument  from 
it  be  made  out  a  little  clearer. 

§.  139.  The  three  sons  of  Noah  had  the 
world,  says  our  author,  divided  amongst  them 
by  their  father,  for  of  them  ivas  the  whole 
world  overspread,  p.  14.  The  world  might  be 
overspread  by  the  offspring  of  Noah's  sons, 
though  he  never  divided  the  world  amongst 
them ;  for  the  earth  might  be  replenished 
without  being  divided  :  so  that  all  our  author's 
argument  here  proves  no  such  division.  How- 
ever,  1  allow  it  to  him,  and  then  ask,  the 
world  being  divided  amongst  them,  which  of 


the  three  was  Adams  heir  \  If  Adams  lordship, 
Adam's  monarchy,  by  right  descended  only  to 
the  eldest,  then  the  other  two  could  be  but  his 
subjects,  his  slaves :  if  by  right  it  descended  to 
all  three  brothers,  by  the  same  right,  it  will 
descend  to  all  mankind ;  and  then  it  will  be 
impossible  what  he  says,  p.  19.  that  heirs  are 
lords  of  their  brethren,  should  be  true ;  but 
all  brothers,  and  consequently  all  men,  will 
be  equal  and  independent,  all  heirs  to  Adam's 
monarchy,  and  consequently  all  monarchs  too, 
one  as  much  as  another.  But  it  will  be  said, 
Noah  their  father  divided  the  world  amongst 
them ;  so  that  our  author  will  allow  more  to 
Noah,  than  he  will  to  God  Almighty,  for 
Observations,  211.  he  thought  it  hard,  that 
God  himself  should  give  the  world  to  Noah 
and  his  sons,  to  the  prejudice  of  Noah's  birth- 
right: his  words  are,  Noah  was  left  sole  heir 
to  the  world:  ivhy  should  it  be  thought  that 
God  would  disinherit  him  of  his  birth-right, 
and  make  him,  of  all  men  in  the  world,  the  only 
tenant  in  common  with  his  children?  and  yet 
here  he  thinks  it  fit  that  Noah  should  disin- 
herit Shem  of  his  birth-right,  and  divide  the 
world  betwixt  him  and  his  brethren ;  so  that 
this  birth-right,  when  our  author  pleases,  must, 
and  when  he  pleases  must  not,  be  sacred  and 

§.  140.  If  Noah  did  divide  the  world  be- 
tween his  sons,  and  his  assignment  of  do- 
minions to  them  were  good,  there  is  an  end  of 


divine  institution;  all  our  author's  discourse 
of  Adam's  heir,  with  whatsoever  he  builds  on 
it,  is  quite  out  of  doors ;  the  natural  power  of 
kings  falls  to  the  ground ;  and  then  the  form 
of  the  power  governing,  and  the  person  having 
that  power,  will  not  be  (as  he  says  they  are, 
Observations,  254)  the  ordinance  of  God,  but 
they  will  be  ordinances  of  man :  for  if  the  right 
of  the  heir  be  the  ordinance  of  God,  a  divine 
right,  no  man,  father  or  not  father,  can  alter  it : 
if  it  be  not  a  divine  right,  it  is  only  human, 
depending  on  the  will  of  man :  and  so  where 
human  institution  gives  it  not,  the  first-born 
has  no  right  at  all  above  his  brethren ;  and 
men  may  put  government  into  what  hands,  and 
under  what  form,  they  please. 

§.  141.  He  goes  on,  Most  of  the  civilest  na- 
tions of  the  earth  labour  to  fetch  their  original 
from  some  of  the  sons,  or  nephews  of  Noah, 
p.  14.  How  many  do  most  of  the  civilest 
nations  amount  to?  and  who  are  they?  I  fear 
the  Chineses,  a  very  great  and  civil  people, 
as  well  as  several  other  people  of  the  East, 
West,  North  and  South,  trouble  not  themselves 
much  about  this  matter.  All  that  believe  the 
Bible,  which  I  believe  are  our  author's  most 
of  the  civilest  nations,  must  necessarily  derive 
themselves  from  Noah :  but  for  the  rest  of  the 
world,  they  think  little  of  his  sons  or  nephews. 
But  if  the  heralds  and  antiquaries  of  all  na- 
tions, for  it  is  these  men  generally  that  labour  to 
find   out   the   originals  of  nations,  or  all  the 


nations  themselves,  should  labour  to  fetch  their 
original  from  some  of  the  sons  or  nephews  of 
Noah,  what  would  this  be  to  prove,  that  the 
lordship  which  Adam  had  over  the  whole  world, 
by  right  descended  to  the  patriarchs  ?  Whoever, 
nations,  or  races  of  men,  labour  to  fetch  their 
original  from,  maybe  concluded  to  be  thought 
by  them,  men  of  renown,  famous  to  posterity, 
for  the  greatness  of  their  virtues  and  actions  ; 
but  beyond  these  they  look  not,  nor  consider 
who  they  were  heirs  to,  but  look  on  them  as 
such  as  raised  themselves,  by  their  own  virtue, 
to  a  degree  that  would  give  a  lustre  to  those 
who  in  future  ages  could  pretend  to  derive 
themselves  from  them.  But  if  it  were  Ogyges, 
Hercules,  JBrama,  Tamerlane,  Pharamond;  nay, 
if  Jupiter  and  Saturn  were  the  names  from 
whence  divers  races  of  men,  both  ancient  and 
modern,  have  laboured  to  derive  their  original ; 
will  that  prove,  that  those  men  enjoyed  the  lord- 
ship of  Adam,  by  right  descending  to  them? 
If  not,  this  is  but  a  flourish  of  our  author's 
to  mislead  his  reader,  that  in  itself  signifies 

§.  142.  To  as  much  purpose  is  what  he  tells 
us,  p.  15.  concerning  this  division  of  the  world, 
That  some  say  it  was  by  Lot,  and  others  that 
Noah  sailed  round  the  Mediterranean  in  ten 
yearSy  and  divided  the  world  into  Asia,  Afric  and 
Europe,  portions  for  his  three  sons.  America 
then,  it  seems,  was  left  to  be  his  that  could  catch 
it.   Why  our  author  takes  such  pains  to  prove  the 


division  of  the  world  by  Noah  to  his  sons,  and 
will  not  leave  out  an  imagination,  though  no 
better  than  a  dream,  that  he  can  find  any  where 
to  favour  it,  is  hard  to  guess,  since  such  a 
division,  if  it  prove  any  thing,  must  necessarily 
take  away  the  title  of  Adam's  heir;  unless 
three  brothers  can  all  together  be  heirs  of 
Adam ;  and  therefore  the  following  words, 
Howsoever  the  manner  of  this  division  be  un- 
certain, yet  it  is  most  certain  the  division  itself 
was  by  families  from  Noah  and  his  children, 
over  which  the  parents  were  heads  and  princes, 
p.  1-5.  if  allowed  him  to  be  true,  and  of  any 
force  to  prove,  that  all  the  power  in  the  world 
is  nothing  but  the  lordship  of  Adam's  descend- 
ing by  right,  they  will  only  prove,  that  the  fa- 
thers of  the  children  are  all  heirs  to  this  lord- 
ship of  Adam:  for  if  in  those  days  Cham  and 
Japhet,  and  other  parents,  besides  the  eldest 
son,  were  heads  and  princes  over  their  fami- 
milies,  and  had  a  right  to  divide  the  earth  by 
families,  what  hinders  younger  brothers,  being 
fathers  of  families,  from  having  the  same  right? 
If  Cham  and  Japhet  were  princes  by  right 
descending  to  them,  notwithstanding  any  title 
of  heir  in  their  eldest  brother,  younger  brothers 
by  the  same  right  descending  to  them  are 
princes  now;  and  so  all  our  author's  natural 
power  of  kings  will  reach  no  farther  than  their 
own  children,  and  no  kingdom,  by  this  natural 
right,  can  be  bigger  than  a  family  :  for  either  this 
lordship  of  Adam  over  the  whole  world,  by  right 

OF    GOVERNMENT.  !•">!» 

descends  only  to  the  eldest  son,  and  then  there 
can  be  but  one  heir,  as  our  author  says,  p.  19. 
or  else,  it  by  right  descends  to  all  the  sons 
equally,  and  then  every  father  of  a  family  will 
have  it,  as  well  as  the  three  sons  of  Noah : 
take  which  you  will,  it  destroys  the  present 
governments  and  kingdoms,  that  are  now  in 
the  world,  since  whoever  has  this  natural 
power  of  a  king,  by  right  descending  to  him, 
must  have  it,  either  as  our  author  tells  us  Cain 
had  it,  and  be  lord  over  his  brethren,  and  so 
be  alone  king  of  the  whole  world  ;  or  else,  as 
he  tells  us  here,  S/iem,  Cham  and  Japhet  had  it, 
three  brothers,  and  so  be  only  prince  of  his 
own  family,  and  alt  families  independent  one 
of  another:  all  the  world  must  be  only  one 
empire  by  the  right  of  the  next  heir,  or  else 
every  family  be  a  distinct  government  of  itself, 
by  the  lordship  of  Adam's  descending  to  pa- 
rents of  families.  And  to  this  only  tend  all 
the  proofs  he  here  gives  us  of  the  descent  of 
Adams  lordship :  for  continuing  his  story  of 
this  descent,  he  says, 

§.  143.  In  the  dispersion  of  Babel,  ice  must 
certainly  find  the  establishment  of  royal  power, 
throughout  the  kingdoms  of  the  world,  p.  14. 
If  you  must  find  it,  pray  do,  and  you  will  help 
us  to  a  new  piece  of  history:  but  you  must 
shew  it  us  before  we  shall  be  bound  to  believe, 
that  regal  power  was  established  in  the  world 
upon  your  principles :  for,  that  regal  power  was 
established   in  the   kingdoms   of  the   world,    I 


think  nobody  will  dispute ;  but  that  there 
should  be  kingdoms  in  the  world,  whose  se- 
veral kings  enjoyed  their  crowns,  by  right  de- 
scending to  them  from  Adam,  that  we  think  not 
only  Apocryphal,  but  also  utterly  impossible. 
If  our  author  has  no  better  foundation  for  his 
monarchy  than  a  supposition  of  what  was  done 
at  the  dispersion  of  Babel,  the  monarchy  he 
erects  thereon,  whose  top  is  to  reach  to  heaven 
to  unite  mankind,  will  serve  only  to  divide  and 
scatter  them  as  that  tower  did  ;  and,  instead  of 
establishing  civil  government  and  order  in  the 
world,  will  produce  nothing  but  confusion. 

§.   144.  For  he  tells  us,  the  nations  they  were 
divided  into,  were  distinct  families,  which  had 
fathers  for  rulers  over  them  ;  whereby  it  appears, 
that  even  in  the  confusion ,   God  was  careful  to 
preserve  the  fatherly  authority,  by  distributing 
the   diversity  of    languages    according    to   the 
diversity  of  families,  p.   14.      It   would    have 
been  a  hard  matter  for  any  one  but  our  author 
to  have  found  out  so  plainly,  in  the  text  he  here 
brings,  that  all  the  nations  in  that  dispersion 
were  governed  by  father s,  and  that  God  was 
careful  to  preserve  the  fatherly  authority.     The 
words  of  the  text  are ;   These  are  the  sons  of 
Shem  after  their  families,  ajter  their  tongues 
in  their    lands,   ajter   their  nations;    and    the 
same  thing  is  said  of  Cham  and  Japhet,  after 
an   enumeration   of    their   posterities ;     in    all 
which  there  is  not  one  word  said  of  their  go- 
vernors, or  forms  of  government;  of  fathers, 


or  fatherly  authority.  But  our  author,  who  is 
very  quick  sighted  to  spy  out  fatherhood, 
where  nobody  else  could  see  any  the  least 
glimpses  of  it,  tells  us  positively  their  riders 
were  fathers,  and  God  was  careful  to  preserve 
the  fatherly  authority;  and  why?  Because 
those  of  the  same  family  spoke  the  same  lan- 
guage, and  so  of  necessity  in  the  division  kept 
together.  Just  as  if  one  should  argue  thus 
Hannibal  in  his  army,  consisting  of  divers 
nations,  kept  those  of  the  same  language  to- 
gether ;  therefore  fathers  were  captains  of  each 
band,  and  Hannibal  was  careful  of  the  fatherly 
authority:  or  in  peopling  of  Carolina,  the  En- 
glish, French,  Scotch  and  Welch  that  are  there, 
plant  themselves  together,  and  by  them  the 
country  is  divided  in  their  lands  ajter  their 
tongues,  after  their  families,  after  their  nations; 
therefore  care  was  taken  of  the  fatherly  autho- 
rity :  or  because,  in  many  parts  of  America, 
every  little  tribe  was  a  distinct  people,  with  a 
different  language,  one  should  infer,  that  there- 
fore God  was  careful  to  preserve  the  fatherly 
authority,  or  that  therefore  their  rulers  enjoyed 
Adam's  lordship  by  right  descending  to  them, 
though  we  know  not  who  were  their  governors, 
nor  what  their  form  of  government,  but  only 
that  they  were  divided  into  little  independent 
societies,  speaking  different  languages. 

<§.  145.  The  scripture  says  not  a  word  of 
their  rulers  or  forms  of  government,  but  only 
gives  an   account,  how  mankind  came  to  be 



divided  into  distinct  languages  and  nations,  and 
therefore  it  is  not  to  argue  from  the  authority 
of  scripture,  to  tell  us  positively,  fathers  were 
their  rulers,  when  the  scripture  says  no  such 
thing ;  but  to  set  up  fancies  of  one's  own  brain, 
when  we  confidently  aver  matter  of  fact, 
where  records  are  utterly  silent.  Upon  a  like 
ground,  i.  e.  none  at  all,  he  says,  That  they 
were  not  confused  multitudes  without  heads  and 
governors,  and  at  liberty  to  choose  what  gover- 
nors or  governments  they  pleased. 

§.  14(3.  For  I  demand,  when  mankind  were 
all  yet  of  one  language,  all  congregated  in  the 
plain  of  Shinar,  were  they  then  all  under  one 
monarch,  who  enjoyed  the  lordship  of  Adam  by 
right  descending  to  him?  If  they  were  not, 
there  were  then  no  thoughts,  it  is  plain,  of 
Adam's  heir,  no  right  of  government  known 
then  upon  that  title ;  no  care  taken,  by  God 
or  man,  of  Adam's  fatherly  authority.  If 
when  mankind  were  but  one  people,  dwelt  all 
together,  and  were  of  one  language,  and  were 
upon  building  a  city  together;  and  when  it 
was  plain,  they  could  not  but  know  the  right 
heir,  for  Shem  lived  till  Isaac  s  time,  a  long 
while  after  the  division  at  Babel;  if  then,  I 
say,  they  were  not  under  the  monarchical  go- 
vernment of  Adams  fatherhood,  by  right  de- 
scending to  the  heir,  it  is  plain  there  was  no 
regard  had  to  the  fatherhood,  no  monarchy 
acknowledged  due  to  Adam's  heir,  no  empire 
of  Shems  in  Asia,  and  consequently  no  such 


division  of  the  world  by  Noah,  as  our  author 
has  talked  of.  As  far  as  we  can  conclude  any 
thing  from  scripture  in  this  matter,  it  seems 
from  this  place,  that  if  they  had  any  govern- 
ment, it  was  rather  a  commonwealth  than  an 
absolute  monarchy :  for  the  scripture  tells  us, 
Gen.  xi.  They  said:  it  was  not  a  prince  com- 
manded the  building  of  this  city  and  tower,  it 
was  not  by  the  command  of  one  monarch,  but 
by  the  consultation  of  many,  a  free  people ;  let 
us  build  us  a  city :  they  built  it  for  themselves 
as  free-men,  not  as  slaves  for  their  lord  and 
master :  that  ive  be  not  scattered abroad ;  having 
a  city  once  built,  and  fixed  habitations  to 
settle  our  abodes  and  families.  This  was  the 
consultation  and  design  of  a  people,  that  were 
at  liberty  to  part  asunder,  but  desired  to  keep 
in  one  body,  and  could  not  have  been  either 
necessary  or  likely  in  men  tied  together  under 
the  government  of  one  monarch,  who  if  they 
had  been,  as  our  author  tells  us,  all  slaves 
under  the  absolute  dominion  of  a  monarch, 
needed  not  have  taken  such  care  to  hinder 
themselves  from  wandering  out  of  the  reach  of 
his  dominion.  I  demand  whether  this  be  not 
plainer  in  scripture  than  any  thing  of  Adams 
heir  or  fatherly  authority  ? 

§.  147.  But  if  being,  as  God  says,  Gen.  xi.  6. 
one  people,  they  had  one  ruler,  one  king  by 
natural  right,  absolute  and  supreme  over  them, 
what  care  had  God  to  preserve  the  paternal 
authority   of  the   supreme  fatherhood,    if  on  a 

M  2 

lf)4  OF    GOVERNMENT. 

sudden  lie  suffer  seventy-two  (for  so  many  our 
author  talks  of)  distinct  nations  to  be  erected 
out  of  it,  under  distinct  governors,  and  at  once 
to  withdraw  themselves  from  the  obedience  of 
their  sovereign?  This  is  to  intitle  God's  carehow, 
and  to  what  we  please.  Can  it  be  sense  to  say, 
that  God  was  careful  to  preserve  the  fatherly 
authority  in  those  who  had  it  not?  for  if  these 
were  subjects  under  a  supreme  prince,  what 
authority  had  they  ?  Was  it  an  instance  of 
God's  care  to  preserve  the  fatherly  authority, 
when  he  took  away  the  true  supreme  father- 
hood of  the  natural  monarch  ?  Can  it  be  reason 
to  say,  that  God,  for  the  preservation  of father- 
ly authority,  lets  several  new  governments  with 
their  governors  start  up,  w  ho  could  not  all  have 
fatherly  authority?  And  is  it  not  as  much 
reason  to  say,  that  God  is  careful  to  destroy 
fatherly  authority,  when  he  suffers  one,  who  is 
in  possession  of  it,  to  have  his  government  torn 
in  pieces,  and  shared  by  several  of  his  subjects? 
Would  it  not  be  an  argument  just  like  this,  for 
monarchical  government  to  say,  when  any  mo- 
narchy was  shattered  to  pieces,  and  divided 
amongst  revolted  subjects,  that  God  was  care- 
ful to  preserve  monarchical  power,  by  rending 
a  settled  empire  into  a  multitude  of  little  go- 
vernments? If  any  one  will  say,  that  what  hap- 
pens in  providence  to  be  preserved,  God  is 
careful  to  preserve  as  a  thing  therefore  to  be 
esteemed  by  men  as  necessary  or  useful,  it  is 
a   peculiar   propriety    of  speech,   which  every 


one  a\  ill  not  think  fit  to  imitate:  but  this  1  am 
sdre is  impossible  to  be  cither  proper,  or  true 
speaking,  that  Shem,  for  example,  (for  he  was 
then  alive,)  should  have  fatherly  authority,  or 
sovereignty  by  right  of  fatherhood,  over  that, 
one  people  at  Babel,  and  that  the  next  moment, 
Shem  yet  living,  seventy-two  others  should 
have  fatherly  authority,  or  sovereignty  by  right 
of  fatherhood,  over  the  same  people,  divided 
into  so  many  distinct  governments:  either  these 
seventy-two  fathers  actually  were  rulers,  just 
before  the  confusion,  and  then  they  were  not 
one  people,  but  that  God  himself  says  they 
Were-;  or  else  they  were  a  commonwealth,  and 
then*  where  was  monarchy  ?  or  else  these 
seventy-two  fathers  had  fatherly  authority,  but 
knew  it  not.  Strange!  that  fatherly  authority 
should  be  the  only  original  of  government 
amongst  men,  and  yet  all  mankind  not  know 
it;  and  stranger  yet,  that  the  confusion  of  ton- 
gues should  reveal  it  to  them  all  of  a  sudden, 
that  in  an  instant  these  seventy-two  should 
know  that  they  had  jalherhj  power,  and  all 
others  know  that  they  were  to  obey  it  in  them, 
and  every  one  know  that  particular  fatherly 
authority  to  which  he  was  a  subject.  He  that 
can  think  this  arguing  from  scripture,  may  from 
thence  make  out  what  model  of  an  Utopia  will 
best  suit  with  his  fancy  or  interest;  and  this 
fatherhood,  thus  disposed  of,  will  justify  both 
a  prince  who  claims  an  universal  monarchy^ 
and  his  subjects,  who.  being  fathers  of  families, 


shall  quit  all  subjection  to  him,  and  canton  his 
empire  into  less  governments  for  themselves ; 
for  it  will  always  remain  a  doubt  in  which  of 
these  the  fatherly    authority  resided,    till   our 
author  resolves  us,  wheher  Shem,  who  was  then 
alive,  or  these  seventy-two  new  princes,  begin- 
ning so  many  new  empires  in  his  dominions, 
and  over  his    subjects,   had    right  to   govern, 
since  our  author  tells  us,  that  both  one  and  the 
other  had  fatherly \t  which  is  supreme  authority, 
and  are  brought   in  by  him   as   instances    of 
those  who  did  enjoy  the  lordships  of  Adam  by 
right  descending  to  them,  which  was  as  large 
and  ample  as   the   absolulest   dominion  of  any 
monarch.     This  at  least  is  unavoidable,'  that 
if  God  ivas  careful  to  preserve  the  fatherly  au- 
thority, in  the   seventy-two  new-erected  nations, 
it  necessarily  follows,  that  he  was  as  careful 
to  destroy  all  pretences  of  Adam's  heir ;  since 
he  took  care,   and   therefore  did  preserve  the 
fatherly  authority  in  so  many,  at  least  seventy- 
one,  that  could  not  possibly  be  Adams  heirs, 
when  the  right  heir  (if  God  had  ever  ordained 
any  such  inheritance)  could  not  but  be  known, 
Shem    then    living,    and    they   being   all    one 

§.  148.  Nimrod  is  his  next  instance  of  en- 
joying this  patriarchal  power,  p.  16.  but  I 
know  not  for  what  reason  our  author  seems  a 
little  unkind  to  him,  and  says,  that  he  against 
right  enlarged  his  empire,  by  seizing  violently 
on  the  rights  of  other  lords  of  families.     These 


lords  of  families  here  were  called  fathers  of 
families,  in  his  account  of  the  dispersion  at 
Babel:  but  it  matters  not  how  they  were 
called,  so  we  know  who  they  are;  for  this 
fatherly  authority  must  be  in  them,  either  as 
heirs  to  Adam,  and  so  there  could  not  be 
seventy-two,  nor  above  one  at  once  ;  or  else 
as  natural  parents  over  their  children,  and  so 
every  father  will  ha? e  paternal  authority  over 
his  children  by  the  same  right,  and  in  as  large 
extent  as  those  seventy-two  had,  and  so  be 
independent  princes  over  their  own  offspring. 
Taking  his  lords  of  families  in  this  latter  sense, 
(as  it  is  hard  to  give  those  words  any  other 
sense  in  this  place)  he  gives  us  a  very  pretty 
account  of  the  original  of  monarchy,  in  these 
following  words,  p.  16.  And  in  this  sense  he 
may  be  said  to  be  the  author  and  founder  of 
monarchy,  viz.  As  against  right  seizing  vio- 
lently on  the  rights  of  fathers  over  their  chil- 
dren; which  paternal  authority,  if  it  be  in 
them,  by  right  of  nature,  (for  else  how  could 
tiiose  seventy-two  come  by  it  ?)  nobody  can 
take  from  them  without  their  own  consents; 
and  then  1  desire  our  author  and  his  friends 
to  consider,  how  far  this  will  concern  other 
princes,  and  whether  it  will  not,  according  to 
his  conclusion  of  that  paragraph,  resolve  all 
regal  power  of  those,  whose  dominions  extend 
beyond  their  families,  either  into  tyranny  and 
usurpation,  or  election  and  consent  of  fathers 


of  families,  which  will  differ  very  little   from 
consent  of  the  people. 

§.  149.  All  his  instances,  in  the  next  section, 
p.  17.  of  the  twelve  dukes  of  Edom,  the  nine 
kings  in  a  little  corner  of  Asia  in  Abraham's 
days,  the  thirty-one  kings  in  Canaan  destroyed 
by  Joshua,  and  the  care  he  takes  to  prove  that 
these  were  all  sovereign  princes,  and  that 
every  town  in  those  days  had  a  king,  are  so 
many  direct  proofs  against  him,  that  it  was 
not  the  lordship  of  Adam  by  right  descending 
to  them,  that  made  kings :  for  if  they  had  held 
their  royalties  by  that  title,  either  their  must 
have  been  but  one  sovereign  over  them  all,  or 
else  every  father  of  a  family  had  been  as  good 
a  prince,  and  had  as  good  a  claim  to  royalty, 
as  these :  for  if  all  the  sons  of  Esau  had  each 
of  them,  the  younger  as  well  as  the  eldest, 
the  right  of  father hood,  and  so  were  sovereign 
princes  after  their  father's  death,  the  same  right 
had  their  sons  after  them,  and  so  on  to  all 
posterity;  which  will  limit  all  the  natural 
power  of  fatherhood,  only  to  be  over  the  issue 
of  their  own  bodies,  and  their  descendents ; 
which  power  of  fatherhood  dies  with  the  head 
of  each  family,  and  makes  way  for  the  like 
power  of  fatherhood  to  take  place  in  each 
of  his  sons  over  their  respective  posterities : 
whereby  the  power  of  fatherhood  will  be  pre- 
served indeed,  and  is  intelligible,  but  will  not 
be  at  all  to  our  author's  purpose.  None  of 
flic  instances  he  brings  arc  proofs  of  any  power 

OF    GOVERNMENT.  1  09 

they  had,  as  heirs  of  Adam's  paternal  authority 
by  the  title  of  his  fatherhood  descending  to 
them;  no,  nor  of  any  power  they  had  by  virtue 
of  their  own  :  for  Adam's  fatherhood  being"  over 
all  mankind,  it  could  descend  but  to  one  at 
once,  and  from  him  to  his  right  heir  only,  and 
so  there  could  by  that  title  be  but  one  king  in 
the  world  at  a  time:  and  by  right  of  father- 
hood, not  descending  from  Adam,  it  must  be 
only  as  they  themselves  were  fathers,  and  so 
could  be  over  none  but  their  own  posterity. 
So  that  if  those  twelve  dukes  of  Edom;  if 
Abraham  and  the  nine  kings  his  neighbours; 
if  Jacob  and  Esau,  and  the  thirty-one  kings  in 
Canaan,  the  seventy-two  kings  mutilated  by 
Adonibcseck,  the  thirty-two  kings  that  came  to 
J3enhadad,  the  seventy  kings  of  Greece  making 
war  at  Troy,  were,  as  our  author  contends,  all 
of  them  sovereign  princes ;  it  is  evident  that 
kings  derived  their  power  from  some  other 
original  than  fatherhood,  since  some  of  these 
had  power  over  more  than  their  own  posterity; 
and  it  is  demonstration,  they  could  not  be  all 
heirs  to  Adam;  for  1  challenge  any  man  to 
make  any  pretence  to  power  by  right  of  father- 
hood, either  intelligible  or  possible  in  any  one, 
otherwise  than  either  as  Adams  heir,  or  as 
progenitor  over  his  own  descendents,  naturally 
sprung  from  him.  And  if  our  author  could 
shew  that  any  one  of  these  princes,  of  which 
he  gives  us  here  so  large  a  catalogue,  had  his 
authority  by  either  of  these   titles,   1   think  I 


might  yield  him  the  cause;  though  it  is  mani- 
fest they  are  all  impertinent,  and  directly 
contrary  to  what  be  brings  them  to  prove,  viz. 
That  the  lordship  which  Adam  had  over  the 
world  by  right  descended  to  the  patriarchs. 

§.  150.  Having  told  us,  p.  16.  That  the 
patriarchal  government  continued  in  Abraham, 
Isaac,  and  Jacob,  until  the  Egyptian  bondage, 
p.  17.  he  tells  us,  J3y  manifest  footsteps  we  may 
trace  this  paternal  government  unto  the  Israelites 
coming*  into  Egypt,  where  the  exercise  of  su- 
preme patriarchal  government  was  intermitted, 
because  they  ivere  in  subjection  to  a  stronger 
prince.  What  these  footsteps  are  of  paternal 
government,  in  our  author's  sense,  i.  e.  of  ab- 
solute monarchical  power  descending  from 
Adam,  and  exercised  by  right  of  fatherhood, 
we  have  seen,  that  is  for  2290  years  no  foot- 
steps at  all ;  since  in  all  that  time  he  cannot 
produce  any  one  example  of  any  person  who 
claimed  or  exercised  regal  authority  by  right 
of  fatherhood ;  or  shew  any  one  who  being  a 
king  was  Adams  heir:  all  that  his  proofs 
amount  to,  is  only  this,  that  there  were  fathers, 
patriarchs  and  kings,  in  that  age  of  the  world  ; 
but  that  the  fathers  and  patriarchs  had  any 
absolute  arbitrary  power,  or  by  what  titles 
those  kings  had  theirs,  and  of  what  extent  it 
was,  the  scripture  is  wholly  silent;  it  is  mani- 
fest by  right  of  fatherhood  they  neither  did, 
nor  could  claim  any  title  to  dominion  and 


§.  151.  To  say,  that  the  exercise  of  supreme 
•patriarchal  government  ivas  intermitted,  because 
they  were  in  subjection  to  a  stronger  prince, 
proves  nothing  but  what  1  before  suspected, 
viz.  That  patriarchal  jurisdiction  or  govern- 
ment is  a  fallacious  expression,  and  does  not 
in  our  author  signify  (what  he  would  yet  in- 
sinuate by  it)  paternal  and  regal  power,  such 
an  absolute  sovereignty  as  he  supposes  was  in 

§.  152.  For  how  can  he  say  that  patriarchal 
jurisdiction  was  intermitted  in  .Egypt,  where 
there  was  a  king,  under  whose  regal  govern- 
ment the  Israelites  were,  if  patriarchal  were 
absolute  monarchical  jurisdiction?  And  if  it  were 
not,  but  something  else,  why  does  he  make 
such  ado  about  a  power  not  in  question,  and 
nothing  to  the  purpose  ?  The  exercise  of  patri- 
archal jurisdiction,  if  patriarchal  be  regal,  was 
not  intermitted  whilst  the  Israelites  were  in 
Egypt.  It  is  true,  the  exercise  of  regal  power 
was  not  then  in  the  hands  of  any  of  the  pro- 
mised seed  of  Abraham,  nor  before  neither  that 
I  know ;  but  what  is  that  to  the  intermission 
of  regal  authority,  as  descending  from  Adam, 
unless  our  author  will  have  it,  that  this  chosen 
line  of  Abraham  had  the  right  of  inheritance  to 
Adams  lordship  ?  aud  then  to  what  purpose 
are  his  instances  of  the  seventy-two  rulers,  in 
whom  the  fatherly  authority  was  preserved  in 
the  confusion  at  Babel ?  Why  does  he  bring 
the  twelve   princes    sons  of  Jshmael,    and    the 


dukes  of  Edom,  and  join  them  with  Abraham, 
Isaac  and  Jacob,  as  examples  of  the  exercise 
of  true  patriarchal  government,  if  the  exercise 
of  patriarchal  jurisdiction  were  intermitted  in 
the  world,  whenever  the  heirs  of  Jacob  had  not 
supreme  power?  I  fear,  supreme  patriarchal 
jurisdiction  was  not  only  intermitted,  but  from 
the  time  of  the  Egyptian  bondage  quite  lost  in 
the  world,  since  it  will  be  hard  to  find,  from 
that  time  downwards,  any  one  who  exercised 
it  as  an  inheritance  descending  to  him  from 
the  patriarchs  Abraham,  Isaac  and  Jacob.  1 
imagined  monarchical  government  would  have 
served  his  turn  in  the  hands  of  Pharaoh,  or 
any  body.  But  one  cannot  easily  discover  in 
all  places  what  his  discourse  tends  to,  as  par- 
ticularly in  this  place  it  is  not  obvious  to 
guess  what  he  drives  at,  when  he  says,  the 
exercise  of  supreme  patriarchal  jurisdiction  in 
Egypt,  or  how  this  serves  to  make  out  the  de- 
scent of  Adams  lordship  to  the  patriarchs,  or 
any  body  else. 

§.  153.  For  I  thought  he  had  been  giving  us 
out  of  scripture,  proofs  and  examples  of  mo- 
narchical government,  founded  on  paternal  au- 
thority, descending  from  Adam;  and  not  an 
history  of  the  Jcivs :  amongst  whom  yet  we 
find  no  kings,  till  many  years  after  they  were 
a  people :  and  when  kings  were  their  rulers, 
there  is  not  the  least  mention  or  room  for  a 
pretence  that  they  were  heirs  to  Adam,  or 
kings  by  paternal  authority.     I  expected,  talk- 


ing  so  much  as  ho  does  of  scripture,  that  he 
would  have  produced  thence  a  series  of  mo- 
narch*, whose  titles  were  clear  to  Adam's 
fatherhood,  and  who,  as  heirs  to  him,  owned 
and  exercised  paternal  jurisdietion  over  their 
subjects,  and  that  this  was  the  true  patriarchi- 
cal  government;  whereas  he  neither  proves, 
that  the  patriarchs  were  kings  ;  nor  that  either 
kings  or  patriarchs  were  heirs  to  Adam,  or  so 
much  is  pretended  to  it:  and  one  may  as  well 
prove,  that  the  patriarchs  were  all  absolute 
monarchs ;  that  the  power  both  of  patriarchs 
and  kings  was  only  paternal ;  and  that  this 
power  descended  to  them  from  Adam:  I  say 
all  these  propositions  may  be  as  well  proved 
by  a  confused  account  of  a  multitude  of  little 
kings  in  the  West- Indies,  out  of  Ferdinando 
Soto,  or  any  of  our  late  histories  of  the  Nor- 
thern America,  or  by  our  author's  seventy 
kings  of  Greece,  out  of  Homer,  as  by  any  thing 
he  brings  out  of  scripture,  in  that  multitude  of 
kings  he  has  reekoned  up. 

§.  154.  And  methinks  he  should  have  let 
Homer  and  his  wars  of  Troy  alone,  since  his 
great  zeal  to  truth  or  monarchy  carried  him  to 
such  a  pitch  of  transport  against  philosophers 
and  poets,  that  he  tells  us  in  his  preface,  that 
there  are  too  many  in  these  days,  who  please 
themselves  in  running  after  the  opinions  of  phi- 
losophers and  poets,  to  find  out  such  an  original 
of  government,  as  might  promise  them  some 
title  to  liberty,  to  the  great  scandal  of  Christi- 


unity,  and  bringing  in  of  atheism.  And  yet 
these  heathens,  philosopher  Aristotle,  and  poet 
Homer,  are  not  rejected  by  our  zealous  Chris- 
tian politician,  whenever  they  offer  any  thing 
that  seems  to  serve  his  turn  ;  -whether  to  the 
great  scandal  of  Christianity  and  bringing  in 
of  atheism,  let  him  look.  This  I  cannot  but 
observe,  in  authors  who  it  is  visible  -write  not 
for  truth,  how  ready  zeal  for  interest  and  party 
is  to  entitle  Christianity  to  their  designs,  and 
to  charge  atheism  on  those  who  will  not  with- 
out examining  submit  to  their  doctrines,  and 
blindly  swallow  their  nonsense. 

But  to  return  to  his  scripture  history,  our  au- 
thor farther  tells  us,  p.  18.  that  ajter  the  return 
of  Me  Israelites  out  of  bondage,  God,  out  of  a 
special  care  of  them,  chose  Moses  and  Joshua 
successively  to  govern  as  princes  in  the  place  and 
stead  of  the  supreme  fathers.  If  it  be  true,  that 
they  returned  out  of  bondage',  it  must  be  into  a 
state  of  freedom,  and  must  imply  that  both 
before  and  after  this  bondage  they  were  free, 
unless  our  author  will  sav,  that  chanirina:  of 
masters  is  returning  out  of  bondage;  or  that 
a  slave  returns  out  of  bondage,  when  he  is 
removed  from  one  galley  to  another.  If  then 
they  returned  out  of  bondage,  it  is  plain  that  in 
those  days,  whatever  our  author  in  his  preface 
says  to  the  contrary,  there  were  difference 
between  a  son,  a  subject  and  a  slave;  and  that 
neither  the  patriarchs  before,  nor  their  rulers 
after  this    Egyptian    bondage,  numbered   their 


softs  or  subjects  amongst  their  possessions,  and 
disposed  of  them  with  as  absolute  a  dominion, 
as  they  did  their  other  goods. 

§.  155.  This  is  evident  in  Jacob,  to  whom 
Reuben  offered  his  two  sons  as  pledges ;  and 
Judah  was  at  last  surety  for  Benjamins  safe 
return  out  of  Egypt:  which  all  had  been  vain, 
superfluous,  and  but  a  sort  of  mockery,  if 
Jacob  had  had  the  same  power  over  every  one 
of  his  family  as  he  had  over  his  ox  or  his  ass, 
as  an  owner  over  his  substance;  and  the  offers 
that  Reuben  or  Judah  made  had  been  such  a 
security  for  returning  of  Benjamin,  as  if  a  man 
should  take  two  lambs  out  of  his  lord's  flock, 
and  offer  one  as  security,  that  he  will  safely  re- 
store the  other. 

§.  156.  When  they  were  out  of  this  bondage, 
what  then  ?  God  out  of  a  special  care  of  them, 
the  Israelites.  It  is  well  that  once  in  his  book, 
he  will  allow  God  to  have  any  care  of  the  peo- 
ple ;  for  in  other  places  he  speaks  of  mankind, 
as  if  God  had  no  care  of  any  part  of  them,  but 
only  of  their  monarchs,  and  that  the  rest  of 
the  people,  the  societies  of  men,  were  made  as 
so  many  herds  of  cattle,  only  for  the  service, 
use,  and  pleasure  of  their  princes. 

§.  157.  Chose  Moses  and  Joshua  successively 
to  govern  as  princes;  a  shrewd  argument  our 
author  has  found  out  to  prove  that  God's  care 
of  the  fatherly  authority,  and  Adams  heirs, 
that  here,  as  an  expression  of  his  care  of  his 
own  people,  he  chooses  those  for  princes  over 


them,  that  had  not  the  least  pretence  to  either. 
The  persons  chosen  were,  Moses  of  the  tribe  of 
Levi,  and  Joshua  of  the  tribe  of  Ephraim, 
neither  of  which  had  any  title  of  fatherhood. 
But  says  our  author,  they  were  in  the  place 
and  stead  of  the  supreme  fathers.  If  God  had 
any  where  as  plainly  declared  his  choice  of 
such  fathers  to  be  rulers,  as  he  did  of  Moses 
and  Joshua,  we  might  believe  Moses  and  Joshua 
were  in  their  jrfacc  and  stead :  but  that  being 
the  question  in  debate,  till  that  be  better  proved, 
Moses  being  chosen  by  God  to  be  ruler  of  his 
people,  will  no  more  prove  that  government  be- 
longed to  Adams  heir,  or  to  the  fatherhood, 
than  God's  choosing  Aaron  of  the  tribe  of  Levi 
to  be  priest,  will  prove  that  the  priesthood  be- 
longed to  Adams  heir,  or  the  prime  fathers ; 
since  God  would  choose  Aaron  to  be  priest, 
and  3Ioses  ruler  in  Israel,  though  neither  of 
those  offices  were  settled  on  Adams  heir,  or 
the  fatherhood. 

§.  158.  Our  author  goes  on,  and  after  them 
likewise  for  a  time  he  raised  up  judges,  to  de- 
fend his  people  in  time  of  peril,  p.  18.  This 
proves  fatherly  authority  to  be  the  original  of 
government,  and  that  it  descended  from  Adam 
to  his  heirs,  just  as  well  as  what  went  before: 
only  here  our  author  seems  to  confess,  that 
these  judges,  who  were  all  the  governors  they 
then  had,  were  only  men  of  valour,  whom  they 
made  their  generals  to  defend  them  in  time  of 
peril ;  and  cannot  God  raise  up  such  men, 
unless  fatherhood  have  a  title  to  government? 


§.  159.  But  says  our  author,  when  God  gave 
the  Israelites  kings,  he  re-established  the  ancient 
and  prime  right  of  lineal  succession  to  paternal 
government,  p.  18. 

§.  100.  How  did  God  re-establish  it?  by  a 
law,  a  positive  command?  We  find  no  such 
thing.  Our  author  means  then,  that  when  God 
gave  them  a  king,  in  giving  them  a  king,  he 
re-established  the  right,  fyc.  To  re-establish 
de  facto  the  right  of  lineal  succession  to  pater- 
nal government,  is  to  put  a  man  in  possession 
of  that  government  which  his  fathers  did  enjoy, 
and  he  by  lineal  succession  had  a  right  to: 
for,  first,  if  it  were  another  government  than 
what  his  ancestors  had,  it  was  not  succeeding 
to  an  ancient  right,  but  beginning  a  new  one : 
for  if  a  prince  should  give  a  man,  besides  his 
ancient  patrimony,  which  for  some  ages  his 
family  had  been  disseized  of,  an  additional 
estate,  never  before  in  the  possession  of  his 
ancestors,  he  could  not  be  said  to  re-establish 
the  right  of  lineal  succession  to  any  more  than 
what  had  been  formerly  enjoyed  by  his  ancestors. 
If  therefore  the  power  the  kings  of  Israel  had, 
were  any  thing  more  than  Isaac  or  Jacob  had, 
it  was  not  the  re-establishing  in  them  the  right 
of  succession  to  a  power,  but  giving  them  a 
new  power,  however  you  please  to  call  it, 
paternal  or  not :  and  whether  Isaac  and  Jacob 
had  the  same  power  that  the  kings  of  Israel 
had,  I  desire  any  one,  by  what  has  been  above 
said,  to  consider;  and  I  do  not  think  they  will 



find,  that  either  Abraham,  Isaac,  or  Jacob,  had 
any  regal  power  at  all. 

§.  161.  Next,  there  can  be  no  re-establish- 
ment of  the  prime  and  ancient  right  of  lineal 
succession  to  any  thing,  unless  he,  that  is  put 
in  possession  of  it,  has  the  right  to  succeed, 
and  be  the  true  and  next  heir  to  him  he  suc- 
ceeds to.  Can  that  be  a  re-establishment 
which  begins  in  a  new  family  ?  or  that  the  re- 
establishment  of  an  ancient  right  of  lineal  suc- 
cession, when  a  crown  is  given  to  one,  who 
has  no  right  of  succession  to  it,  and  who,  if 
the  lineal  succession  had  gone  on,  had  been 
out  of  all  possibility  of  pretence  to  it?  Saul, 
the  first  king  God  gave  the  Israelites,  was  of 
the  tribe  of  Benjamin.  Was  the  ancient  and 
prime  right  of  lineal  succession  re-established 
in  him?  The  next  was  David,  the  youngest 
son  of  Jesse,  of  the  posterity  of  Judah,  Jacob's 
third  son.  Was  the  ancient  and  prime  right  of 
lineal  succession  to  paternal  government  re-esta- 
blished in  him  ?  or  in  Solomon,  his  younger  son 
and  successor  in  the  throne  ?  or  in  Jeroboam 
over  the  ten  tribes  ?  or  in  Athaliah,  a  woman 
who  reio-ned  six  vears  an  utter  stranger  to  the 
royal  blood  ?  If  the  ancient  and  prime  right  of 
lineal  succession  to  paternal  government  were 
re-established  in  any  of  these  or  their  posterity, 
the  ancient  and  prime  right  of  lineal  succession 
to  paternal  government  belongs  to  younger 
brothers  as  well  as  elder,  and  may  be  re- 
established  in  any  man  living;    for  whatever 


younger  brothers,  by  ancient  and  prime  rigid  of 
lineal  succession,  may  have  as  well  as  the  elder, 
that  every  living  man  may  have  a  right  to,  by 
lineal  succession,  and  Sir  Robert  as  well  as 
any  other.  And  so  what  a  brave  right  of 
lineal  succession,  to  his  paternal  or  regal  go- 
vernment, our  author  has  re-established,  for  the 
securing  the  rights  and  inheritance  of  crowns, 
where  every  one  may  have  it,  let  the  world 

§.  162.  But  says  our  author  however,  p.  19. 
Whensoever  God  made  choice  of  any  special  per- 
son to  be  king,  he  intended  that  the  issue  also 
should  have  benefit  thereof,  as  being  compre- 
hended sufficiently  in  the  person  of  the  father, 
although  the  father  wets  only  named  in  the 
grant.  This  yet  will  not  help  out  succession  ; 
for  if,  as  our  author  says,  the  benefit  of  the 
grant  be  intended  to  the  issue  of  the  grantee, 
this  will  not  direct  the  succession ;  since,  if 
God  give  any  thing  to  a  man  and  his  issue  in 
general,  the  claim  cannot  be  to  any  one  of  that 
issue  in  particular  ;  every  one  that  is  of  his 
race  will  have  an  equal  right.  If  it  be  said, 
our  author  meant  heir,  I  believe  our  author 
was  as  willing  as  any  body  to  have  used  that 
word,  if  it  would  have  served  his  turn :  but 
Solomon,  who  succeeded  David  in  the  throne, 
being  no  more  his  heir  than  Jeroboam,  who 
succeeded  him  in  the  government  of  the  ten 
tribes,  was  his  issue,  our  author  had  reason  to 
avoid  saying.    That  God  intended  it  to  the 

N  2 


heirs,  when  that  would  not  hold  in  a  succes- 
sion, which  our  author  could  not  except 
against;  and  so  he  has  left  his  succession  as 
undetermined,  as  if  he  had  said  nothing  about 
it:  for  if  the  regal  power  be  given  by  God  to 
a  man  and  his  issue,  as  the  land  of  Canaan  was 
to  Abraham  and  his  seed,  must  they  not  all 
have  a  title  to  it,  all  share  in  it  ?  And  one  may 
as  well  say,  that  by  God's  grant  to  Abraham 
and  his  seed,  the  land  of  Canaan  was  to  be- 
long only  to  one  of  his  seed  exclusive  of  all 
others,  as  by  God's  grant  of  dominion  to  a 
man  and  his  issue,  this  dominion  was  to  belong 
in  peculiar  to  one  of  his  issue  exclusive  of  all 

§.  163.  But  how  will  our  author  prove  that 
whensoever  God  made  choice  of  any  special 
person  to  be  a  king,  he  intended  that  the  (I 
suppose  he  means  his)  issue  also  should  have 
benefit  thereof?  has  he  so  soon  forgot  Moses 
and  Joshua,  whom  in  this  very  section,  he 
says,  God  out  of  a  special  care  chose  to  govern 
as  princes,  and  the  judges  that  God  raised  up? 
Had  not  these  princes,  having  the  authority  of 
the  supreme  fatherhood,  the  same  power  that 
the  kings  had  ;  and  being  specially  chosen  by 
God  himself,  should  not  their  issue  have  the 
benefit  of  that  choice,  as  well  as  David's  or 
Solomons?  If  these  had  the  paternal  authority 
put  into  their  hands  immediately  by  God,  why 
1 1 ad  not  their  issue  the  benefit  of  this  grant  in 
a  succession  to  this  power?  or  if  they  had  it 


as  Adams  heirs,  why  did  not  their  heirs  enjoy 
it  after  them  by  right  descending-  to  them  ?  for 
they  could  not  be  heirs  to  one  another.     Was 
the  power  the  same,  and  from  the  same  origi- 
nal, in  3Ioses,  Joshua  and  the  Judges,  as  it  was 
in  David  and  the  Kings;  and  was  it  inheritable 
in  one,  and  not  in  the  other?    If  it  was   not 
paternal    authority,    then    God's    own    people 
were  governed  by  those  that  had  not  paternal 
authority,  and  those  governors  did  well  enough 
without  it:    if  it  were  paternal  authority,  and 
God  chose  the  persons  that  were  to  exercise 
it,  our  author's  ride  fails,  that  whensoever  God 
makes  choice  of  any  perso?i  to  be  supreme  ruler 
(for  I  suppose  the  name  king  has  no  spell  in 
it,  it  is  not  the  title,  but  the  power  makes  the 
difference)  he  intends  that  the  issue  should  have 
the  benefit  of  it,   since  from  their  coming  out 
of  Egypt  to  David  s  time,  four  hundred  years, 
the  issue  was  never  so  sufficiently  comprehended 
in  the  person  of  the  father,  as    that  any  son, 
after  the  death  of  his  father,  succeeded  to  the 
government   amongst    all     those    judges    that 
judged  Israel.     If,  to   avoid  this,  it  be  said, 
God  always  chose  the  person  of  the  successor, 
and  so,  transferring  the  fatherly  authority  to 
him,  excluded  his  issue  from  succeeding  to  it, 
that  is  manifestly  not  so  in  the  story  of  Jeph- 
tha,  where  he    articled  with  the  people,  and 
they  made   him  judge  over  them,  as   is  plain, 
Judges  xi. 
§.  104.  It  is  in  vain  then  to  say,  that  when- 


soever  God  chooses  any  special  person  to  have 
the  exercise  of  paternal  authority ,  (for  if  that  be 
not  to  be  king,  1  desire  to  know  the  difference 
between  a  king  and  one  having  the  exercise 
of  paternal  authority)  he  intends  the  issue  also 
should  have  the  benefit  of  it,  since  we  find  the 
authority,  the  judges  had,  ended  with  them, 
and  descended  not  to  their  issue;  and  if  the 
judges  had  not  paternal  authority,  I  fear  it  will 
trouble  our  author,  or  any  of  the  friends  to  his 
principles,  to  tell  who  had  then  the  paternal 
authority,  that  is,  the  government  and  supreme 
power  amongst  the  Israelites ;  and  I  suspect 
they  must  confess  that  the  chosen  people  of 
God  continued  a  people  several  hundreds  of 
years,  without  any  knowledge  or  thought  of 
this  paternal  authority,  or  any  appearance  of 
monarchical  government  at  all. 

§.  1G5.  To  be  satisfied  of  this,  he  need  but 
read  the  story  of  the  Levite,  and  the  war  there- 
upon with  the  Benjamites,  in  the  three  last 
chapters  of  Judges:  and  when  he  finds,  that 
the  Levite  appeals  to  the  people  for  justice 
that  it  was  the  tribes  and  the  congregation, 
that  debated,  resolved,  and  directed  all  that 
was  done  on  that  occasion;  he  must  conclude, 
either  that  God  was  not  careful  to  preserve  the 
fatherly  authority  amongst  his  own  chosen 
people;  or  else  that  the  fatherly  authority 
may  be  preserved,  where  there  is  no  monar- 
chical government;  if  the  latter,  then  it  will 
follow,  that  though  fatherly  authority  be  never 


so  well  proved,  yet  it  will  not  inter  a  necessity  of 
monarchical  government;  if  the  former,  it  will 
seem  very  strange  and  improbable,  that  God 
should  ordain  fatherly  authority  to  be  so  sacred 
amongst  the  sons  of  men,  that  there  could  be 
no  power,  or  government  without  it,  and  yet 
that  amongst  his  own  people,  even  whilst  he  is 
providing  a  government  for  them,  and  therein 
prescribes  rules  to  the  several  states  and  rela- 
tions of  men,  this  great  and  fundamental  one, 
this  most  material  and  necessary  of  all  the 
rest,  should  be  concealed,  and  lie  neglected 
for  four  hundred  years  after. 

§.  166.  Before  I  leave  this,  I  must  ask  how 
our  author  knows  that  whensoever  Clod  makes 
choice  of  any  special  person  to  be  king,  lie  intends 
that  the  issue  shoutd  have  the  benefit  thereof '? 
Does  God  by  the  law  of  nature  or  revelation 
say  so?  By  the  same  law  also  he  must  say, 
which  of  his  issue  must  enjoy  the  crown  in 
succession,  and  so  point  out  the  heir,  or  else 
leave  his  issue  to  divide  or  scramble  for  the 
government:  both  alike  absurd,  and  such  as 
will  destroy  the  benefit  of  such  grant  to  the 
issue.  When  any  such  declaration  of  Gods 
intention  is  produced,  it  will  be  our  duty  to 
believe  God  intends  it  so ;  but  till  that  be 
done,  our  author  must  shew  ns  some  better 
warrant,  before  we  shall  be  obliged  to  receive 
him  as  the  authentic  revealer  of  God's  in- 

§.  167.  The  issue,  says  our  author,  is  cornpre- 


hended  sufficiently  in  the  person  of  the  father, 
although  the  father  only  was  named  in  the  grant : 
and  yet  God,  when  he  gave  the  land  of  Canaan 
to  Abraham,  Gen.  xiii.  15.  thought  fit  to  put 
his  seed  into  the  grant  too :  so  the  priesthood 
was  given   to   Aaron   and  his  seed;    and   the 
crown  God  gave  not  only  to  David,  but  his 
seed  also  :  and  however  our  author  assures  us 
that  God  intends,  that  the  issue  should  have  the 
benefit  of  it,  when  he  chooses  any  person  to  be 
king,  yet  we  see  that  the  kingdom  which  he 
gave  to  Saul,  without  mentioning  his  seed  after 
him,  never  came  to  any  of  his  issue:  and  why, 
when  God  chose  a  person  to  be  king,  he  should 
intend,  that  his  issue  should  have  the  benefit  of 
it,  more  than  when  he  chose  one  to  be  judge  in 
Israel,  I  would  fain  know  a  reason ;  or  why 
does  a  grant  of  fatherly  authority  to  a  king 
more  comprehend  the  issue,  than  when  a  like 
grant  is  made  to  a  judge?  Is  paternal  authority 
by  right  to  descend  to  the  issue  of  one,  and  not 
of  the  other?  There  will  need  some  reason  to 
be  shewn  of  this   difference,    more   than  the 
name,  when  the  thing  given  is  the  same  fatherly 
authority,  and  the  manner  of  giving  it,  God's 
choice   of  the    person,    the   same    too;    for    I 
suppose  our  author,  when  he  says,  God  raised 
up  judges,  will  by  no  means  allow,  they  were 
chosen  by  the  people. 

§.  168.  But  since  our  author  has  so  confi- 
dently assured  us  of  the  care  of  God  to  preserve 
the  fatherhood,  and   pretends  to  build   all   he 


says  upon  the  authority  of  the  scripture,  we 
may  well  expect  that  that  people,  whose  law, 
constitution  and  history  is  chiefly  contained  in 
the  scripture,  should  furnish  him  with  the 
clearest  instances  of  God's  care  of  preserving 
the  fatherly  authority,  in  that  people  who  it  is 
agreed  he  had  a  most  peculiar  care  of.  Let 
us  see  then  what  state  this  'paternal  authority 
or  government  was  in  amongst  the  Jews,  from 
their  beginning  to  be  a  people.  It  was  omitted, 
by  our  author's  confession,  from  their  -coming 
into  Egypt,  till  their  return  out  of  that  bondage, 
above  two  hundred  years:  from  thence  till  God 
gave  the  Israelites  a  king,  about  four  hundred 
years  more,  our  author  gives  but  a  very  slender 
account  of  it;  nor  indeed  all  that  time  are  there 
the  least  footsteps  of  paternal  or  regal  govern- 
ment amongst  them.  But  then  says  our  author, 
(rod  re-established  the  ancient  and  prime  right 
of  lineal  succession  to  paternal  government. 

§.  1G9.  What  a  lineal  succession  to  paternal 
government  was  then  established,  we  have 
already  seen.  I  only  now  consider  how  long 
this  lasted,  and  that  was  to  their  captivity, 
about  five  hundred  years :  from  thence  to  their 
destruction  by  the  Romans,  above  six  hundred 
and  fifty  years  after,  the  ancient  and  prime 
right  of  lineal  succession  to  paternal  government 
was  again  lost,  and  they  continued  a  people 
in  the  promised  land  without  it.  So  that  of 
one  thousand,  seven  hundred  and  fifty  years 
that  they  were  Gods  peculiar  people,  they  had 


hereditary  kingly  government  amongst  them 
not  one  third  of  the  time ;  and  of  that  time 
there  is  not  the  least  footstep  of  one  moment  of 
paternal  government,  nor  the  re-establishment  of 
the  ancient  and  prime  right  of  lineal  succession 
to  it,  whether  we  suppose  it  to  be  derived,  a> 
from  its  fountain,  from  David,  Saul,  Abraham, 
or,  which  upon  our  author's  principles,  is  the 
only  true,  from  Adam. 




§.  1.  It  having  been  shewn  in  the  foregoing 

1.  That  Adam  had  not,  either  by  natural 
right  of  fatherhood,  or  by  positive  donation 
from  God,  any  such  authority  over  his  children, 
or  dominion  over  the  world,  as  is  pretended: 

2.  That  if  he  had,  his  heirs,  yet,  had  no  right 
to  it: 

3.  That  if  his  heirs  had,  there  being  no  law 
of  nature  nor  positive  law  of  God  that  deter- 
mines which  is  the  right  heir  in  all  cases  that 
may  arise,  the  right  of  succession,  and  conse- 
quently of  bearing  rule,  could  not  have  been 
certainly  determined  : 

4.  That  if  even  that  had  been  determined, 
yet  the  knowledge  of  which  is  the  eldest  line 
of  Adams  posterity,  being  so  long  since  utterly 
lost,  that  in  the  races  of  mankind  and  families 
of  the  world,  there  remains  not  to  one  above 
another,  the  least  pretence  to  ha  the  eldest 
house,  and  to  have  the  right  of  inheritance : 


All  these  premises  having,  as  I  think,  been 
clearly  made  out,  it  is  impossible  that  the  ru- 
lers now  on  earth  should  make  any  benefit,  or 
derive  any  the  least  shadow  of  authority  from 
that,  which  is  held  to  be  the  fountain  of  all 
power,  Adams  private  dominion  and  paternal 
jurisdiction;  -so  that  he  that  will  not  give  just 
occasion  to  think  that  all  government  in  the 
world  is  the  product  only  of  force  and  violence, 
and  that  men  live  together  by  no  other  rules 
but  that  of  beasts,  where  the  strongest  carries 
it,  and  so  lay  a  foundation  for  perpetual  disor- 
der and  mischief,  tumult,  sedition  and  rebellion, 
(tilings  that  the  followers  of  that  hypothesis  so 
loudly  cry  out  against)  must  of  necessity  find 
out  another  rise  of  government,  another  original 
of  political  power,  and  another  way  of  design- 
ing and  knowing  the  persons  that  have  it,  than 
what  Sir  Robert  Filmer  hath  taught  us. 

§.  2.  To  this  purpose,  1  think  it  may  not  be 
amiss,  to  set  down  what  I  take  to  be  political 
power ;  that  the  power  of  a  magistrate  over  a 
subject  may  be  distinguished  from  that  of  a 
father  over  his  children,  a  master  over  his  ser- 
vant, a  husband  over  his  wife,  and  a  lord  over 
his  slave.  All  which  distinct  powers  happen- 
ing sometimes  together  in  the  same  man,  if  he 
be  considered  under  these  different  relations, 
it  may  help  us  to  distinguish  these  powers 
one  from  another,  and  shew  the  difference  be- 
twixt a  ruler  of  a  commonwealth,  a  father  of  a 
family,  and  a  captain  of  a  galley. 


§.  3.  Political  power,  then,  I  take  to  be  a 
right  of  making  laws  with  penalties  of  death, 
and  consequently  all  less  penalties,  for  the  re- 
gulating' and  preserving  of  property,  and  of 
employing  the  force  of  the  community,  in  the 
execution  of  such  laws,  and  in  the  defence 
of  the  commonwealth  from  foreign  injury;  and 
all  this  only  for  the  public  good. 


Of  the  State  of  Nature. 

§.  4.  To  understand  political  power  right, 
and  derive  it  from  its  original,  we  must  consider, 
what  state  all  men  are  naturally  in,  and  that  is, 
a  state  of  pet  fee  I  freedom  to  order  their  actions, 
and  dispose  of  their  possessions  and  persons,  as 
they  think  fit,  within  the  bounds  of  the  law  of 
nature,  without  asking  leave,  or  depending  upon 
the  will  of  any  other  man. 

A  state  also  of  equality,  wherein  all  the 
power  and  jurisdiction  is  reciprocal,  no  one 
having  more  than  another;  there  being  nothing 
more  evident,  than  that  creatures  of  the  same 
species  and  rank,  promiscuously  born  to  all  the 
same  advantages  of  nature,  and  the  use  of  the 
same  faculties  should  also  be  equal  one  amongst 
another  without  subordination  or  subjection, 
unless  the  lord  and  master  of  them  all  should, 
by  any  manifest  declaration  of  his  will,  set  one 
above  another,  and  confer  on  him,  by  an  evident 


and  clear  appointment,  an  undoubted  right  to 
dominion  and  sovereignty. 

§.  5.  This  equality  of  men  by  nature,  the  judi- 
cious Hooker  looks  upon  as  so  evident  in  itself, 
and  beyond  all  question,  that  he  makes  it  the 
foundation  of  that  obligation  to  mutual  love 
amongst  men,  on  which  he  builds  the  duties 
they  owe  one  another,  and  from  whence  he 
derives  the  great  maxims  of  justice  and  charity. 
His  words  are, 

The  like  natural  inducement  hath  brought 
men  to  know  that  it  is  no  less  their  duty,  to  love 
others  than  themselves  ;  for  seeing  those  things 
which  are  equal,  must  needs  all  have  one  mea- 
sure ;  if  I  cannot  but  wish  to  receive  good,  even 
as  much  at  every  man's  hands,  as  any  man  can 
wish  unto  his  own  soul,  how  should  I  look  to 
have  any  part  of  my  desire  herein  satisfied,  unless 
myself  be  careful  to  satisfy  the  like  desire,  which 
is  undoubtedly  in  other  men,  being  of  one  and 
the  same  nature?  To  have  any  thing  offered 
them  repugnant  to  this  desire,  must  needs  in  all 
respects  grieve  them  as  much  as  me ;  so  that  if  1 
do  harm,  I  must  look  to  suffer,  there  being  no 
reason  that  others  should  sheiv  greater  measure 
of  love  to  me,  than  they  have  by  me  shewed  unto 
them :  my  desire  therefore  to  be  loved  of  my 
equals  in  nature,  as  much  as  possible  may  be, 
imposcth  upon  me  a  natural  duty  of  bearing  to 
them-ivard fully  the  like  affection;  from  which 
relation  of  equality  between  ourselves  and  them 
that  are  as  ourselves,   what   several  rules  and 


canons  natural  reason  hath  drawn,  for  direction 
<>/  life,  no  man  is  ignorant.  Eccl.  Pol.  Lib.  i. 

§.  6.  But  though  this  be  a  state  of  liberty, 
yet  it  is  not  a  state  of  license:  though  man  in 
that  state  have  an  uncontroulable  liberty  to 
dispose  of  his  person  or  possessions,  yet  he  has 
not  liberty  to  destroy  himself,  or  so  much  as 
any  creature  in  his  possession,  but  where  some 
nobler  use  than  its  bare  preservation  calls  for 
it.  The  state  of  nature  has  a  law  of  nature  to 
govern  it,  which  obliges  every  one :  and  reason, 
which  is  that  law,  teaches  all  mankind,  who 
will  but  consult  it,  that  being  all  equal  and  in- 
dependent, no  one  ought  to  harm  another  in  his 
life,  health,  liberty,  or  possessions:  for  men 
being  all  the  workmanship  of  one  omnipotent, 
and  infinitely  wise  maker;  all  the  servants  of 
one  sovereign  master,  sent  into  the  world  by 
his  order,  and  about  his  business ;  they  are  his 
property,  whose  workmanship  they  are,  made 
to  last  during  his,  not  one  another's  pleasure: 
and  being  furnished  with  like  faculties,  sharing 
all  in  one  community  of  nature,  there  cannot 
be  supposed  any  such  subordination  among  us, 
that  may  authorize  us  to  destroy  one  another, 
as  if  we  were  made  for  one  another's  uses, 
as  the  inferior  ranks  of  creatures  are  for  ours. 
Every  one,  as  he  is  bound  to  preserve  himself, 
and  not  to  quit  his  station  wilfully,  so  by  the 
like  reason,  when  his  own  preservation  comes 
not  in  competition,  ought  he,  as  much  as  he 
can,  to  preserve  the  rest  of  mankind  and  may 


not,  unless  it  be  to  do  justice  on  an  offender, 
take  away,  or  impair  the  life,  or  what  tends  to 
the  preservation  of  the  life,  the  liberty,  health, 
limb,  or  goods  of  another. 

§.  7.  And  that  all  men  may  be  restrained 
from  invading  others  rights,  and  from  doing 
hurt  to  one  another,  and  the  law  of  nature  be  ob- 
served, which  willeth  the  peace  and  preserva- 
tion of  all  mankind,  the  execution  of  the  law  of 
nature  is,  in  that  state,  put  into  every  man's 
hands,  whereby  every  one  has  a  right  to  punish 
the  transgressors  of  that  law  to  such  a  degree, 
as  may  hinder  its  violation :  for  the  law  of 
nature  would,  as  all  other  laws  that  concern 
men  in  this  world,  be  in  vain,  if  there  were 
nobody  that  in  the  state  of  nature  had  a  power 
to  execute  that  law,  and  thereby  preserve  the 
innocent  and  restrain  offenders.  And  if  any 
one  in  the  state  of  nature  may  punish  another 
for  any  evil  he  has  done,  every  one  may  do 
so  :  for  in  that  state  of  jjerfect  equality  where 
naturally  there  is  no  superiority  or  jurisdiction7 
of  one  over  another,  what  any  may  do  in  pro- 
secution of  that  law,  every  one  must  needs 
have  a  right  to  do. 

§.  0.  And  thus,  in  the  state  of  nature,  one 
man  comes  by  a  power  over  another ;  but  yet 
no  absolute  or  arbitrary  power,  to  use  a  crimi- 
nal, when  he  has  got  him  in  his  hands,  ac- 
cording to  the  passionate  heats,  or  boundless 
extravagancy  of  his  own  will ;  but  only  to  re- 
tribute  to  him,   so   far   as   calm   reason  and 


conscience  dictate,  what  is  proportionate  to 
his  transgression,  which  is  so  much  as  may 
serve  for  reparation  and  restraint:  for  these 
two  are  the  only  reasons,  why  one  man  may 
lawfully  do  harm  to  another,  which  is  that  we 
call  punishment.  In  transgressing  the  law  of 
nature,  the  offender  declares  himself  to  live  by 
another  rule  than  that  of  reason  and  common 
equity,  which  is  that  measure  God  has  set  to 
the  actions  of  men,  for  their  mutual  security; 
and  so  he  becomes  dangerous  to  mankind, 
the  tye,  which  is  to  secure  them  from  injury 
and  violence,  being  slighted  and  broken  by 
him.  Which  being  a  trespass  against  the 
whole  species,  and  the  peace  and  safety  of  it, 
provided  for  by  the  law  of  nature,  every  man 
upon  this  score,  by  the  right  he  hath  to  pre- 
serve mankind  in  general,  may  restrain,  or 
where  it  is  necessary,  destroy  things  noxious 
to  them,  and  so  may  bring  such  evil  on  any  one, 
"who  hath  transgressed  that  law,  as  may  make 
him  repent  the  doing  of  it,  and  thereby  deter 
him,  and  by  his  example  others,  from  doing  the 
like  mischief.  And  in  this  case,  and  upon  this 
ground,  every  man  hath  a  right  to  punish  the 
offender,  and  be  executioner  of  the  law  of  nature. 
%.  9.  1  doubt  not  but  this  will  seem  a  very 
strange  doctrine  to  some  men  :  but  before  they 
condemn  it,  I  desire  them  to  resolve  me,  by 
what  right  any  prince  or  state  can  put  to  death, 
or  punish  an  alien,  for  any  crime  he  commits  in 
in  their  country.     It  is  certain  their  laws,  by 



virtue  of  any  sanction  they  receive  from  the 
promulgated  will  of  the  legislative,  reach  not  a 
stranger :  they  speak  not  to  him,  nor,  if  they 
did,  is  he  bound  to  hearken  to  them.  The 
legislative  authority,  by  which  they  are  in  force 
over  the  subjects  of  that  commonwealth,  hath 
no  power  over  him.  Those  who  have  the 
supreme  power  of  making  laws  in  England, 
France  or  Holland,  are  to  an  Indian,  but  like 
the  rest  of  the  world,  men  without  authority  : 
and  therefore,  if  by  the  law  of  nature  every  man 
hath  not  a  power  to  punish  offences  against  it, 
as  he  soberly  judges  the  case  to  require,  I  see 
not  how  the  magistrates  of  auy  community  can 
punish  an  alien  of  another  country;  since,  in 
reference  to  him,  they  can  have  no  more  power 
than  what  every  man  naturally  may  have  over 

§.  10.  Besides  the  crime  which  consists  in 
violating  the  law,  and  varying  from  the  right 
rule  of  reason,  whereby  a  man  so  far  becomes 
degenerate,  and  declares  himself  to  quit  the 
principles  of  human  nature,  and  to  be  a  noxious 
creature,  there  is  commonly  injury  done  to 
some  person  or  other,  and  some  other  man  re- 
ceives damage  by  his  transgression ;  in  which 
case  he  who  hath  received  any  damage,  has, 
besides  the  right  of  punishment  common  to  him 
with  other  men,  a  particular  right  to  seek  repa- 
ration from  him  that  has  done  it :  and  any  other 
person,  who  finds  it  just,  may  also  join  with 
him  that  is  injured,  and  assist  him  in  recover- 


ing  from  the  offender  so  much  as  may  make 
satisfaction  for  the  harm  he  has  suffered. 

§.  11.  From  these  two  distinct  rights,  the 
one  of  punishing  the  crime  for  restraint,  and 
preventing-  the  like  offence,  which  right  of  pu- 
nishing is  in  every  body ;  the  other  of  taking 
reparation,  which  belongs  only  to  the  injured 
party,  comes  it  to  pass  that  the  magistrate,  who 
by  being  magistrate  hath  the  common  right  of 
punishing  put  into  his  hands,  can  often,  where  the 
public  good  demands  not  the  execution  of  the 
law,  remit  the  punishment  of  criminal  offences 
by  his  own  authority,  but  yet  cannot  remit  the 
satisfaction  due  to  any  private  man  for  the 
damage  he  has  received*  That,  he  who  has 
suffered  the  damage  has  a  right  to  demand  in 
his  own  name,  and  he  alone  can  remit:  the 
damnified  person  has  this  power  of  appropri- 
ating to  himself  the  goods  or  service  of  the 
offender,  by  right  of  self-preservation,  as  every 
man  has  a  power  to  punish  the  crime,  to  pre- 
vent its  being  committed  again,  by  the  light  he 
has  of  preserving  all  mankind,  and  doing  all 
reasonable  things  he  can  in  order  to  that  end  : 
and  thus  it  is,  that  every  man,  in  the  state  of 
nature,  has  a  power  to  kill  a  murderer,  both 
to  deter  others  from  doing  the  like  injury, 
which  no  reparation  can  compensate,  by  the 
example  of  the  punishment  that  attends  it  from 
every  body,  and  also  to  secure  men  from  the 
attempts  of  a  criminal,  who  having  renounced 
reason,  the  common  rule   and   measure  God 

o  2 


hath  given  to  mankind,  hath,  by  the  unjust 
violence  and  slaughter  he  hath  committed  upon 
one,  declared  war  against  all  mankind,  and 
therefore  may  be  destroyed  as  a  lion  or  a  tyger, 
one  of  those  wild  savage  beasts,  with  whom 
men  can  have  no  society  nor  security  :  and  upon 
this  is  grounded  that  great  law  of  nature,  Whoso 
sheddeth  man's  blood,  by  man  shall  his  blood  be 
shed.  And  Cain  was  so  fully  convinced,  that 
every  one  had  a  right  to  destroy  such  a  crimi- 
nal, that  after  the  murder  of  his  brother,  he 
cries  out,  Every  one  that  findeth  me  shall  slay 
me;  so  plain  was  it  writ  in  the  hearts  of  all 

§.  12.  By  the  same  reason  may  a  man  in  the 
state  of  nature  punish  the  lesser  breaches  of  that 
law.  It  will  perhaps  be  demanded,  with  death  ? 
I  answer,  each  transgression  may  be  punished 
to  that  degree,  and  with  so  much  severity,  as 
will  suffice  to  make  it  an  ill  bargain  to  the  of- 
fender, give  him  cause  to  repent,  and  terrify 
others  from  doing  the  like.  Every  offence, 
that  can  be  committed  in  the  state  of  nature, 
may  in  the  state  of  nature  be  also  punished 
equally,  and  as  far  forth  as  it  may,  in  a  com- 
monwealth :  for  though  it  would  be  besides 
my  present  purpose,  to  enter  here  into  the 
particulars  of  the  law  of  nature,  or  its  measures 
of  punishment ;  yet,  it  is  certain  there  is  such  a 
law,  and  that  too,  as  intelligible  and  plain  to  a 
rational  creature,  and  a  studier  of  that  law,  as 
the   positive   laws   of   commonwealths :    nay, 


possibly  plainer ;  as  much  as  reason  is  easier 
to  be  understood,  than  the  fancies  and  intricate 
contrivances  of  men,  following  contrary  and 
hidden  interests  put  into  words;  for  so  truly 
are  a  great  part  of  the  municipal  laws  of  coun- 
tries, which  are  only  so  far  right,  as  they  are 
founded  on  the  law  of  nature,  by  which  they  are 
to  be  regulated  and  interpreted. 

§.  13.  To  this  strange  doctrine,  viz.  That 
in  the  state  of  nature  every  one  has  the  executive 
power  of  the  law  of  nature,  I  doubt  not  but  it 
will  be  objected,  that  it  is  unreasonable  for  men 
to  be  judges  in  their  own  cases,  that  self-love 
will  make  men  partial  to  themselves  and  their 
friends :  and  on  the  other  side,  that  ill-nature, 
passion  and  revenge  will  carry  them  too  far  in 
punishing  others  ;  and  hence  nothing  but  con 
fusion  and  disorder  will  follow  ;  and  that  there- 
fore God  hath  certainly  appointed  government 
to  restrain  the  partiality  and  violence  of  men. 
1  easily  grant,  that  civil  government  is  the  pro- 
per remedy  for  the  inconveniences  of  the  state 
of  nature,  which  must  certainly  be  great,  where 
men  may  be  judges  in  their  own  case,  since  it 
is  easy  to  be  imagined,  that  he  who  was  so  un- 
just as  to  do  his  brother  an  injury,  will  scan 
be  so  just  as  to  condemn  himself  for  it ;  but  I 
shall  desire  those  who  make  this  objection,  to 
remember,  that  absolute  monarchs  are  but  men  ; 
and  if  government  is  to  be  the  remedy  of  those 
evils,  which  necessarily  follow  from  men's  being 
judges  in  their  own  cases,  and  the  state  of  na- 


ture  is  therefore  not  to  be  endured,  I  desire  to 
know  what  kind  of  government  that  is,  and 
how  much  better  it  is  than  the  state  of  nature, 
where  one  man,  commanding  a  multitude,  has 
the  liberty  to  be  judge  in  his  own  case,  and  may 
do  to  all  his  subjects  whatever  he  pleases,  with- 
out the  least  liberty  to  any  one  to  question  or 
controul  those  who  execute  his  pleasure?  and 
in  whatsoever  he  doth,  whether  led  by  reason, 
mistake  or  passion,  must  be  submitted  to? 
much  better  it  is  in  the  state  of  nature,  wherein 
men  are  not  bound  to  submit  to  the  unjust  will 
of  another:  and  if  he  that  judges,  judges 
amiss  in  his  own,  or  any  other  case,  he  is  an- 
swerable for  it  to  the  rest  of  mankind. 

§.  14.  It  is  often  asked  as  a  mighty  objec- 
tion, where  are,  or  ever  were  there  any  men  in 
such  a  state  of  nature  ?  To  which  it  may  suffice 
as  an  answer  at  present,  that  since  all  princes 
and  rulers  of  independent  governments  all 
through  the  world,  are  in  a  state  of  nature,  it  is 
plain  the  world  never  was,  nor  ever  will  be, 
without  numbers  of  men  in  that  state.  I  have 
named  all  governors  of  independent  communi- 
ties, whether  they  are,  or  are  not,  in  league 
with  others :  for  it  is  not  every  compact  that 
puts  an  end  to  the  state  of  nature  between  men, 
but  only  this  one  of  agreeing  together  mutually 
to  enter  into  one  community,  and  make  one 
body  politic;  other  promises,  and  compacts, 
men  may  make  one  witlranother,  and  yet  still 
be  in  the  state  of  nature.     The  promises  and 


bargains  for  truck,  &c.  between  the  two  men  in 
the  desert  island,  mentioned  by  Garcilasso  de 
la  Vega,  in  his  history  of  Peru;  or  between  a 
Swiss  and  an  Indian,  in  the  woods  of  ^America, 
are  binding-  to  them,  though  they  are  perfectly 
in  a  state  of  nature,  in  reference  to  one  another: 
for  truth  and  keeping  of  faith  belongs  to  men, 
as  men,  and  not  as  members  of  society. 

§.  15.  To  those  that  say,  there  were  never 
any  men  in  the  state  of  nature,  I  will  not  only 
oppose  the  authority  of  the  judicious  Hooker, 
Eccl.  Pol.  lib.  i.  sect.  10.  where  he  says,  The 
laws  which  have  been  hitherto  mentioned,  i.  e. 
the  laws  of  nature,  do  bind  men  absolutely,  even 
as  they  are  men,  although  they  have  never  any 
settled  fellowship,  never  any  solemn  agreement 
amongst  themselves  what  to  do,  or  not  to  do: 
but  forasmuch  as  we  are  not  by  ourselves  suffi- 
cient to  furnish  ourselves  with  competent  store 
of  things t  needful  J or  such  a  life  as  our  nature 
doth  desire,  a  life  fit  for  the  dignity  of  man; 
therefore  to  supply  those  defects  and  imperfec- 
tions which  are  in  tis,  as  living  single  and  solely 
by  ourselves,  we  are  naturally  induced  to  seek 
communion  and  fellowship  with  others :  this 
was  the  cause  of  metis  uniting  themselves  at 
first  in  politic  societies.  But  ]  moreover 
affirm,  that  all  men  are  naturally  in  that  state, 
and  remain  so,  till  by  their  own  consents  they 
make  themselves  members  of  some  politic 
society ;  and  I  doubt  not  in  the  sequel  of  this 
discourse, to  make  it  very  clear. 



Of  the  State  of  War. 

§.  16.  The  state  of  war  is  a  state  of  enmity 
and  destruction:    and  therefore    declaring   by 
word  or  action,  not  a  passionate  and  hasty,  but 
a  sedate  settled  design  upon  another  man's  life 
puts  him  in  a  state  of  xuar  with  him   against 
whom  he  lias  declared  such  an  intention,  and 
so  has  exposed  his  life  to  the  other's  power  to 
be  taken  away  by  him,   or  any  one  that  joins 
with   him   in   his    defence,    and    espouses   his 
quarrel;  it  being  reasonable  and  just,  I  should 
have  a  right  to  destroy  that  which  threatens  me 
with  destruction:  for,  by  the  fundamental law  of 
nature,  man  being-  to  be  preserved  as  much  as 
possible,    when   all  cannot  be    preserved,  the 
safety    of    the   innocent   is   to    be   preferred : 
and  one  may  destroy  a  man  who   makes  war 
upon  him,  or  has  discovered  an  enmity  to  his 
being,  for  the  same  reason  that  he  may  kill  a 
wolf  or  a  Hon;  because  such  men  are  not  under 
the  ties  of  the  common-law  of  reason,  have  no 
other  rule,  but  that  of  force  and  violence,  and 
so  may  be  treated  as   beasts    of  prey,   those 
dangerous  and  noxious  creatures,  that  will  be 
sure  to  destroy  him  whenever  he  falls  into  their 

§.  17.  And  hence  it  is,  that  he  who  attempts 
to  get  another  man   into  his  absolute  power, 


does  thereby  put,  himself  into  a  slate  of  war 
with  him :  it  being-  to  be  understood  as  a  decla- 
ration of  a  design  upon   his   life:  for  I  have 
reason  to  conclude,  that  he  who  would  get  me 
into  his  power  without  my  consent,  would  use 
me  as  he  pleased  when  he  had  got  me  there,  and 
destroy  me  too  when  he  had  a  fancy  to  it ;  for 
nobody  can   desire  to  have  me  in  his  absolute 
power,  unless  it  be  to  compel  me  by  force  to 
that  which  is  against  the  right  of  my  freedom, 
i.  e.  make  me  a  slave.     To  be  free  from  such 
force  is  the  only  security  of  my  preservation  ; 
and  reason  bids  me  look  on  him,  as  an  enemy 
to  my  preservation,  who  would  take  away  that 
freedom  which  is  the  fence  to  it ;    so  that  he 
who  makes  an  attempt  to  enslave  me,  thereby 
puts  himself  into  a  state  of  war  with  me.     He 
that,  in  the  state  of  nature,  would  take  away  the 
freedom  that  belongs  to  any  one  in  that  state, 
must  necessarily  be  supposed  to  have  a  design 
to  take  away  every   thing  else,   that  freedom 
being  the  foundation  of  all  the  rest;  as  he  that, 
in  the  state  of  society,  would  take  away  the 
freedom  belonging  to  those  of  that  society  or 
commonwealth,   must  be  supposed   to  design 
to  take  away  from  them  every  thing  else,  and 
so  be  looked  on  as  in  a  state  of  war. 

%.  18.  This  makes  it  lawful  for  a  man  to  kill 

a  thief  who  has  not  in  the  least  hurt  him,  nor 

declared  any  design  upon  his  life,  any  farther 

than  by  use  of  force,  so  to  get  him  in  his  power 

us  to  take  away  his  money,  or  what  he  pleases. 


from  him ;  because  using  force,  where  he  has 
no  right,  to  get  me  into  his  power,  let  his 
pretence  be  what  it  will,  I  have  no  reason  to 
suppose,  that  he,  who  would  take  away  my 
liberty,  would  not,  when  he  had  me  in  his 
power,  take  away  every  thing  else.  And  there- 
fore it  is  lawful  for  me  to  treat  him  as  one  who 
has  put  himself  into  a  state  of  war  with  me,  i.  e. 
kill  him  if  I  can ;  for  to  that  hazard  does  he 
justly  expose  himself,  whoever  introduces  a 
state  of  war,  and  is  aggressor  in  it. 

§.  19.  And  here  we  have  the  plain  difference 
between  the  state  of  nature  and  the  state  of  war , 
which  however  some  men  have  confounded, 
are  as  far  distant,  as  a  state  of  peace,  good  will, 
mutual  assistance  and  preservation,  and  a  state 
of  enmity,  malice,  violence,  and  mutual  destruc- 
tion, are  one  from  another.  Men  living  together 
according  to  reason,  without  a  common 
superior  on  earth,  without  authority  to  judge 
between  them,  is  properly  the  state  of  nature. 
But  force,  or  a  declared  design  of  force,  upon 
the  person  of  another,  where  there  is  no  com- 
mon superior  on  earth  to  appeal  to  for  relief,  is 
the  state  of  war :  and  it  is  the  want  of  such  an 
appeal  gives  a  man  the  right  of  war  even  against 
an  aggressor,  though  he  be  in  society  and  a 
fellow  subject.  Thus  a  thief  whom  I  cannot 
harm,  but  by  appeal  to  the  law  for  having 
stolen  all  that  I  am  worth,  1  may  kill,  when  he 
sets  on  me  to  rob  me  but  of  my  horse  or  coat ; 
because  the  law,  which  was  made  for  my  pre- 


servation,  where  it  cannot  interpose  to  secure 
my  life  from  present  force,  which,  if  lost,  is 
capable  of  no  reparation,  permits  me  my  own 
defence,  and  the  right  of  war,  a  liberty  to  kill 
the  aggressor,  because  the  aggressor  allows 
not  time  to  appeal  to  our  common  judge,  nor 
the  decision  of  the  law,  for  remedy  in  a  case 
where  the  mischief  may  be  irreparable.  Want 
of  a  common  judge  with  authority,  puts  all 
men  in  a  state  of  nature :  force  without  right, 
upon  a  man's  person,  makes  a  state  of  war, 
both  where  there  is,  and  is  not,  a  common 

§.  20.  But  when  the  actual  force  is  over, 
the  state  of  ivar  ceases  between  those  that  are 
in  society,  and  are  equally  on  both  sides  sub- 
jected to  the  fair  determination  of  the  law; 
because  then  there  lies  open  the  remedy  of 
appeal  for  the  past  injury,  and  to  prevent 
future  harm :  but  where  no  such  appeal  is,  as 
in  the  state  of  nature,  for  want  of  positive 
laws,  and  judges  with  authority  to  appeal  to, 
the  state  of  war  once  begun,  continues,  with 
a  right  to  the  innocent  party  to  destroy  the 
other  whenever  he  can,  until  the  aggressor 
offers  peace,  and  desires  reconciliation  on  such 
terms  as  may  repair  any  wrongs  he  has  already 
done,  and  secure  the  innocent  for  the  future ; 
nay,  where  an  appeal  to  the  law,  and  consti- 
tuted judges,  lies  open,  but  the  remedy  is 
denied  by  a  manifest  perverting  of  justice,  and 
a  bare  faced  wresting  of  the  laws  to  protect  or 


indemnify  the  violence  or  injuries  of  some  men, 
or  party  of  men,  there  it  is  hard  to  imagine 
any  thing  but  a  state  of  war:  for  where  ever 
violence  is  used,  and  injury  done,  though  by 
hands  appointed  to  administer  justice,  it  is 
still  violence  and  injury,  however  coloured 
with  the  name,  pretences,  or  forms  of  law,  the 
end  whereof  being  to  protect  and  redress  the 
innocent,  by  an  unbiassed  application  of  it,  to 
all  who  are  under  it ;  where  ever  that  is  not 
bona  Jide  done,  war  is  made  upon  the  sufferers, 
who  having  no  appeal  on  earth  to  right  them, 
they  are  left  to  the  only  remedy  in  such  cases, 
an  appeal  to  heaven. 

§.  21.  To  avoid  this  state  of  tear  (wherein 
there  is  no  appeal  but  to  heaven,  and  wherein 
every  the  least  difference  is  apt  to  end,  where 
there  is  no  authority  to  decide  between  the 
contenders)  is  one  great  reason  of  men's  put- 
ting themselves  into  society,  and  quitting  the 
state  of  nature :  for  where  there  is  an  autho- 
rity, a  power  on  earth,  from  which  relief  can 
be  had  by  appeal,  there  the  continuance  of  the 
state  of  war  is  excluded,  and  the  controversy 
is  decided  by  that  power.  Had  there  been 
any  such  court,  any  superior  jurisdiction  on 
earth,  to  determine  the  right  between  Jephtha 
and  the  Ammonites,  they  had  never  come  to  a 
state  of  war:  but  we  see  he  was  forced  to 
appeal  to  heaven.  The  Lord  the  judge 
(says  he)  be  judge  this  day  between  the  children 
of  Israel  and  the  children  a/' Amnion,  Judg.  xi. 


27.  and  then  prosecuting,  and  relying  on  his 
appeal,  he  leads  out  his  army  to  battle:  and 
therefore  in  such  controversies,  where  the 
question  is  put,  who  shall  be  judge!  It  cannot 
be  meant,  who  shall  decide  the  controversy ; 
every  one  knows  what  Jephtha  here  tells  us, 
that  the  Lord  the  judge  shall  judge.  Where 
there  is  no  judge  on  earth,  the  appeal  lies  to 
God  in  heaven.  That  question  then  cannot 
mean,  who  shall  judge,  whether  another  hath 
put  himself  in  a  state  of  war  with  me,  and 
whether  1  may,  as  Jephtha  did,  appeal  to 
heaven  in  it?  of  that  I  myself  can  only  be  judge 
in  my  own  conscience,  as  I  will  answer  it, 
at  the  great  day,  to  the  supreme  judge  of  all 



\.  22.  The  natural  liberty  of  man  is  to  be 
free  from  any  superior  power  on  earth,  and  not 
to  be  under  the  will  or  legislative  authority  of 
man,  but  to  have  only  the  law  of  nature  for 
his  rule.  The  liberty  of  man,  in  society,  is  to 
be  under  no  other  legislative  power,  but  that 
established,  by  consent,  in  the  commonwealth  ; 
nor  under  the  dominion  of  any  will,  or  restraint 
of  any  law,  but  what  that  legislative  shall 
enact,  according  to  the  trust  put  in  it.  Free- 
dom then  is  not  what  Sir  Robert  Filmer  tells 


us,  Observations,  A.  55.  a  liberty  for  every  one 
to  do  what  he  lists,  to  live  as  he  pleases,  and 
not  to  be  tied  by  any  laws :  but  freedom  of  men 
under  government  is,  to  have  a  standing  rule  to 
live  by,  common  to  every  one  of  that  society, 
and  made  by  the  legislative  power  erected 
in  it ;  a  liberty  to  follow  my  own  will  in  all 
things,  where  the  rule  prescribes  not;  and 
not  to  be  subject  to  the  inconstant,  uncertain, 
unknown,  arbitrary  will  of  another  man:  as 
freedom  of  nature  is,  to  be  under  no  other  re- 
straint but  the  law  of  nature. 

§.  23.  This  freedom  from  absolute,  arbitrary 
power,  is  so  necessary  to,  and  closely  joined 
with  a  man's  preservation,  that  he  cannot  part 
with  it,  but  by  what  forfeits  his  preservation 
and  life  together:  for  a  man,  not  having  the 
power  of  his  own  life,  cannot,  by  compact,  or 
his  own  consent,  enslave  himself  to  any  one, 
nor  put  himself  under  the  absolute,  arbitrary 
power  of  another,  to  take  away  his  life,  when 
he  pleases.  No  body  can  give  more  power 
than  he  has  himself ;  and  he  that  cannot  take 
away  his  own  life,  cannot  give  another  power 
over  it.  Indeed,  having  by  his  fault  forfeited 
his  own  life,  by  some  act  that  deserves  death ; 
he,  to  whom  he  has  forfeited  it,  may  (when  he 
has  him  in  his  power)  delay  to  take  it,  and 
make  use  of  him  to  his  service,  and  he  does 
him  no  injury  by  it:  for,  whenever  he  finds 
the  hardship  of  his  slavery  outweigh  the  value 
of  his  life,  it  is  in  his  power,  by  resisting  the 


will  of  his  master,  to  draw  on  himself  the 
death  he  desires. 

§.  24.  This  is  the  perfect  condition  of  sla- 
very, which  is  nothing  else,  but  the  state  of  war 
continued,  betiveen  a  lawful  conqueror  and  a  cap- 
tive :  for,  if  once  compact  enter  between  them, 
and  make  an  agreement  for  a  limited  power 
on  the  one  side,  and  obedience  on  the  other, 
the  state  of  war  and  slavery  ceases,  as  long  as 
the  compact  endures :  for,  as  has  been  said, 
no  man  can,  by  agreement,  pass  over  to  ano- 
ther that  which  he  hath  not  in  himself,  a  power 
over  his  own  life. 

I  confess  we  find  among  the  Jews,  as  well 
as  other  nations,  that  men  did  sell  themselves ; 
but  it  is  plain,  this  was  only  to  drudgery,  not 
to  slavery :  for,  it  is  evident,  the  person  sold 
was  not  under  an  absolute,  arbitrary,  despotical 
power :  for  the  master  could  not  have  power 
to  kill  him,  at  any  time,  whom,  at  a  certain 
time,  he  was  obliged  to  let  go  free  out  of  his 
service ;  and  the  master  of  such  a  servant  was 
so  far  from  having  an  arbitrary  power  over  his 
life,  that  he  could  not,  at  pleasure,  so  much  as 
maim  him,  but  the  loss  of  an  eye,  or  tooth,  set 
him  free,  Exod.  xxi. 




§.  25.  Whether  we  consider  natural  reason, 
which  tells  us,  that  men,  being  once  born,  have 
a  right  to  their  preservation,  and  consequently 
to  meat  and  drink,  and  such  other  things  as 
nature  affords  for  their  subsistence  :  or  revela- 
tion, which  gives  us  an  account  of  those 
grants  God  made  of  the  world  to  Adam,  and 
to  Noah,  and  his  sons,  it  is  very  clear,  that 
God,  as  king  David  says,  Psal.  cxv.  16.  has 
given  the  earth  to  the  children  of  men ;  given 
it  to  mankind  in  common.  But  this  being 
supposed,  it  seems  to  some  a  very  great  diffi- 
culty, how  any  one  should  ever  come  to  have 
a  property  in  any  thing :  I  will  not  content 
myself  to  answer,  that  if  it  be  difficult  to  make 
out  property  upon  a  supposition  that  God  gave 
the  world  to  Adam,  and  his  posterity  in  com- 
mon, it  is  impossible  that  any  man,  but  one 
universal  monarch,  should  have  any  property 
upon  a  supposition,  that  God  gave  the  world 
to  Adam,  and  his  heirs  in  succession,  exclusive 
of  all  the  rest  of  his  posterity.  But  I  shall 
endeavour  to  shew,  how  men  might  come  to 
have  a  property  in  several  parts  of  that  which 
God  gave  to  mankind  in  common,  and  that 
without  any  express  compact  of  all  the  com- 


§.  26.  God,  who  hath  given  the  world  to 
men  in  common,  hath  also  given  them  reason 
to  make  use  of  it  to  the  best  advantage  of  life, 
and  convenience.  The  earth,  and  all  that  is 
therein,  is  given  to  men  for  the  support  and 
comfort  of  their  being.  And  though  all  the 
fruits  it  naturally  produces,  and  beasts  it 
feeds,  belong  to  mankind  in  common,  as  they 
are  produced  by  the  spontaneous  hand  of 
nature ;  and  no  body  has  originally  a  private 
dominion,  exclusive  of  the  rest  of  mankind, 
in  any  of  them,  as  they  are  thus  in  their  natural 
state :  yet  being  given  for  the  use  of  men,  there 
must  of  necessity  be  a  means  to  appropriate 
them  some  way  or  other,  before  they  can  be 
of  any  use,  or  at  all  beneficial  to  any  particular 
man.  The  fruit,  or  venison,  which  nourishes 
the  wild  Indian,  who  knows  no  inclosure,  and 
is  still  a  tenant  in  common,  must  be  his,  and 
so  his,  i.  e.  a  part  of  him,  that  another  can  no 
longer  have  any  right  to  it,  before  it  can  do 
him  any  good  for  the  support  of  his  life. 

§.  27.  Though  the  earth,  and  all  inferior 
creatures,  be  common  to  all  men,  yet  every 
man  has  a  property  in  his  own  person :  this  no 
body  has  any  right  to  but  himself.  The  labour 
of  his  body,  and  the  work  of  his  hands,  we 
may  say,  are  properly  his.  Whatsoever  then 
he  removes  out  of  the  state  that  nature  hath 
provided,  and  left  it  in,  he  hath  mixed  his 
labour  with,  and  joined  to  it  something  that  is 
his  own,  and  thereby  makes  it  his  property.     It 



being  by  him  removed  from  the  common  state 
nature  hath  placed  it  in,  it  hath  by  this  labour 
something  annexed  to  it,  that  excludes  the 
common  right  of  other  men :  for  this  labour 
being  the  unquestionable  property  of  the  la- 
bourer, no  man  but  he  can  have  a  right  to 
what  that  is  once  joined  to,  at  least  where 
there  is  enough,  and  as  good,  left  in  common 
for  ,  others. 

§.  28.  He  that  is  nourished  by  the  acorns 
he  picked  up  under  an  oak,  or  the  apples  he 
gathered  from  the  trees  in  the  wood,  has  cer- 
tainly appropriated  them  to  himself.  Nobody 
can  deny  but  the  nourishment  is  his.  I  ask 
then,  when  did  they  begin  to  be  his?  when  he 
digested?  or  when  he  eat?  or  when  he  boiled? 
or  when  he  brought  them  home  ?  or  when  he 
picked  them  up?  and  it  is  plain,  if  the  first 
gathering  made  them  not  his,  nothing  else 
could.  That  labour  put  a  distinction  between 
them  and  common :  that  added  something  to 
them  more  than  nature,  the  common  mother 
of  all,  had  done ;  and  so  they  became  his 
private  right.  And  will  any  one  say,  he  had 
no  right,  to  those  acorns  or  apples,  he  thus 
appropriated,  because  he  had  not  the  consent 
of  all  mankind  to  make  them  his  ?  Was  it  a 
robbery  thus  to  assume  to  himself,  what  be- 
longed to  all  in  common?  If  such  a  consent 
as  that  was  necessary,  man  had  starved,  not- 
withstanding the  plenty  God  had  given  him. 
We  see  in  commons,  which  remain  so  by  com- 


pact,  that  it  is  the  taking  any  part  of  what  is 
common,  and  removing'  it  out  of  the  state  na- 
ture leaves  it  in,  which  begins  the  property; 
without  which  the  common  is  of  no  use.  And 
the  taking  of  this  or  that  part,  does  not  depend 
on  the  express  consent  of  all  the  commoners. 
Thus  the  grass  my  horse  has  bit ;  the  turfs  my 
servant  has  cut ;  and  the  ore  I  have  digged  in 
any  place,  where  I  have  a  right  to  them  in 
common  with  others,  become  my  property, 
without  the  assignation  or  consent  of  any  body. 
The  labour  that  was  mine,  removing  them  out 
of  that  common  state  they  were  in,  hath  fixed 
m y  p roper ty  in  th e m . 

§.  29.  By  making  an  explicit  consent  of 
every  commoner  necessary  to  any  one's  appro- 
priating to  himself  any  part  of.  what  is  given  in 
common,  children  or  servants  could  not  cut 
the  meat,  which  their  father  or  master  had  pro- 
vided for  them  in  common,  without  assigning 
to  every  one  his  peculiar  part.  Though  the 
water  running  in  the  fountain  be  every  one's, 
yet  who  can  doubt  but  that  in  the  pitcher  is 
his  only  who  drew  it  out?  His  labour  hath 
taken  it  out  of  the  hands  of  nature,  where  it 
was  common,  and  belonged  equally  to  all  her 
children,  and  hath  thereby  appropriated  it  to 

§.  30.  Thus  this  law  of  reason  makes  the 
deer  that  Indian's  who  hath  killed  it ;  it  is 
allowed  to  be  his  goods,  who  hath  bestowed 
his  labour  upon  it,  though  before  it  was  the 

p  2 


common  right  of  every  one.  And  amougst 
those  who  are  counted  the  civilized  part  of 
mankind,  who  have  made  and  multiplied  posi- 
tive laws  to  determine  property,  this  original 
law  of  nature,  for  the  beginning  of  property,  in 
what  was  before  common,  still  takes  place ; 
and  by  virtue  thereof,  what  fish  any  one  catches 
in  the  ocean,  that  great  and  still  remaining 
common  of  mankind ;  or  what  ambergrease 
any  one  takes  up  here,  is  by  the  labour  that 
removes  it  out  of  that  common  state  nature  left 
it  in,  made  his  property,  who  takes  that  pains 
about  it.  And  even  amongst  us,  the  hare  that 
any  one  is  hunting,  is  thought  his  who  pursues 
her  during  the  chase:  for  being  a  beast  that  is 
still  looked  upon  as  common,  and  no  mans 
private" possession;  whoever  has  employed  so 
much  labour  about  any  of  that  kind,  as  to  find 
and  pursue  her,  has  thereby  removed  her  from 
the  state  of  nature,  wherein  she  was  common, 
and  hath  begun  a  property. 

§.  3.1.  It  will  perhaps  be  objected  to  this, 
that  if  gathering  the  acorns,  or  other  fruits  of 
the  earth,  &c.  makes  a  right  to  them,  then  any 
one  may  ingress  as  much  as  he  will.  To  which 
I  answer,  Not  so.  The  same  law  of  nature, 
that  does  by  this  means  give  us  property,  does 
also  bound  that  property  too.  God  has  given 
us  all  things  richly,  1  Tim.  vi.  12.  is  the  voice 
of  reason  confirmed  by  inspiration.  But  how 
far  as  he  given  it  us?  To  enjoy.  As  much  as 
any  one  can  make  use  of  to  any  advantage  of 


life  before  it  spoils,  so  much  lie  may  by  his 
labour  fix  a  property  in :  whatever  is  beyond 
(his,  is  more  than  his  share,  and  belongs  to 
others.  Nothing  was  made  by  God  for  man 
to  spoil  or  destroy.  And  thus,  considering 
the  plenty  of  natural  provisions  there  was  a 
long  time  in  the  world,  and  the  few  spenders; 
and  to  how  small  a  part  of  that  provision  the 
industry  of  one  man  could  extend  itself,  and 
ingross  it  to  the  prejudice  of  others;  especially 
keeping  within  the  bounds,  set  by  reason,  of 
what  might  serve  for  his  use;  there  could  be 
then  little  room  for  quarrels  or  contentions 
about  property  so  established. 

§.  32.  But  the  chief  matter  of  property  being 
now  not  the  fruits  of  the  earth,  and  the  beasts 
that  subsist  on  it,  but  the  earth'  itself ;  as  that 
which  takes  in  and  carries  with  it  all  the  rest ; 
I  think  it  is  plain,  that  property  in  that  too  is 
acquired  as  the  former.  As  much  land  as  a 
man  tills,  plants,  improves,  cultivates,  and  can 
use  the  product  of,  so  much  is  his  property. 
He  by  his  labour  does,  as  it  were,  inclose  it  for 
the  common.  Nor  will  it  invalidate  his  right, 
to  say  every  body  else  has  an  equal  title  to  it ; 
and  therefore  he  cannot  appropriate,  he  cannot 
inclose,  without  the  consent  of  all  his  fellow- 
counnoners,  all  mankind.  God,  when  he  gave 
the  world  in  common  to  all  mankind,  com- 
manded man  also  to  labour,  and  the  penury 
of  his  condition  required  it  of  him.  God  and 
his  reason  commanded  him  to  subdue  the  earth, 


i.  e.  improve  it  for  the  benefit  of  life,  and  there- 
in lay  out  something  upon  it  that  was  his  own, 
his  labour.  He  that  in  obedience  to  this  com- 
mand of  God  subdued,  tilled  and  sowed  any 
part  of  it,  thereby  annexed  to  it  something  that 
was  his  property,  which  another  had  no  title  to, 
nor  could  without  injury  take  from  him. 

§.  33.  Nor  was  this  appropriation  of  any 
parcel  of  land,  by  improving  it,  any  prejudice 
to  any  other  man,  since  there  was  still  enough, 
and  as  good  left ;  and  more  than  the  yet  un- 
provided could  use.  So  that,  in  effect,  there 
was  never  the  less  left  for  others  because  of  his 
inclosure  for  himself:  for  he  that  leaves  as 
much  as  another  can  make  use  of,  does  as 
good  as  take  nothing  at  all.  No  body  could 
think  himself  injured  by  the  drinking  of  another 
man,  though  he  took  a  good  draught,  who  had 
a  whole  river  of  the  same  water  left  him  to 
quench  his  thirst:  and  the  case  of  land  and 
water,  where  there  is  enough  of  both,  is  per- 
fectly the  same. 

§.  34.  God  gave  the  world  to  men  in  com- 
mon ;  but  since  he  gave  it  them  for  their  bene- 
fit, and  the  greatest  conveniencies  of  life  they 
were  capable  to  draw  from  it,  it  cannot  be  sup- 
posed he  meant  it  should  always  remain  com- 
mon and  uncultivated.  He  gave  it  to  the  use 
of  the  industrious  and  rational,  (and  labour  was 
to  be  his  title  to  it;)  not  to  the  fancy  or  covet- 
ousness  of  the  quarrelsome  and  contentious. 
He  that  had  as  good  left  for  his  improvement, 


as  was  already  taken  up,  needed  not  complain, 
ought  not  to  meddle  with  what  was  already 
improved  by  auother's  labour:  if  he  did,  it  is 
plain  he  desired  the  benefit  of  another's  pains, 
which  he  had  no  right  to,  and  not  the  ground 
which  God  had  given  him  in  common  with 
others  to  labour  on,  and  whereof  there  was  as 
good  left,  as  that  already  possessed,  and  more 
than  he  knew  what  to  do  with,  or  his  industry 
could  reach  to. 

§.  35.  It  is  true,  in  land  that  is  common  in 
England,  or  any  other  country  where  there  is 
plenty  of  people  under  government,  who  have 
money  and  commerce,  no  one  can  inclose  or 
appropriate  any  part,  without  the  consent  of 
all  his  fellow-commoners ;  because  this  is  left 
common  by  compact,  i.  e.  by  the  law  of  the 
land,  which  is  not  to  be  violated.  And  though 
it  be  common,  in  respect  of  some  men,  it  is  not 
so  to  all  mankind  ;  but  is  the  joint  property  of 
this  country,  or  this  parish.  Besides  the  re- 
mainder, after  such  inclosure,  would  not  be  as 
good  to  the  rest  of  the  commoners,  as  the  whole 
was  when  they  could  all  make  use  of  the 
whole;  whereas  in  the  beginning  and  first 
peopling  of  the  great  common  of  the  world,  it 
was  quite  otherwise.  The  law  man  was  under, 
was  rather  for  appropriating.  God  command- 
ed, and  his  wants  forced  him  to  labour.  That 
Avas  his  property  which  could  not  betaken  from 
him  wherever  he  had  fixed  it.  And  hence 
subduing  or  cultivating  the  earth,  and  having 


dominion,  we  see  are  joined  together.  The 
one  gave  title  to  the  other.  So  that  God,  by 
commanding  to  subdue,  gave  authority  so  far 
to  appropriate:  and  the  condition  of  human 
life,  which  requires  labour  and  materials  to 
work  on,  necessarily  introduces  private  pos- 

§.  36.  The  measure  of  property  nature  has 
well  set  by  the  extent  of  men's  labour  and  the 
conveniencies  of  life:  no  man's  labour  could 
subdue,  or  appropriate  all ;  nor  could  his  en- 
joyment consume  more  than  a  small  part ;  so 
that  it  was  impossible  for  any  man,  this  way,  to 
intrench  upon  the  right  of  another,  or  acquire 
to  himself  a  property,  to  the  prejudice  of  his 
neighbour,  who  would  still  have  room  for  as 
good,  and  as  large  a  possession  (after  the  other 
had  taken  out  his)  as  before  it  was  appropriated. 
This  measure  did  confine  every  man's  posses- 
sion to  a  very  moderate  proportion,  and  such 
as  he  might  appropriate  to  himself,  without 
injury  to  any  body,  in  the  first  ages  of  the 
world,  when  men  were  more  in  danger  to  be 
lost,  by  wandering  from  their  company  in  the 
then  vast  wilderness  of  the  earth,  than  to  be 
straitened  for  want  of  room  to  plant  in.  And 
the  same  measure  may  be  allowed  still  without 
prejudice  to  any  body,  as  full  as  the  world 
seems  :  for  supposing  a  man,  or  family,  in  the 
state  they  were  at  first  peopling  of  the  world 
by  the  children  of  Adam,  or  Noah :  let  him 
plant  in  some  inland,  vacant  places  of  America, 

OF    CIVIL    GOVERNMENT.  *2  1  7 

we  shall  find  that  the  possessions  he  could  make 
himself  upon  the  measures  we  have  given,  would 
not  be  very  large,  nor,  even  to  this  day,  preju- 
dice the  rest  of  mankind,  or  give  them  reason 
to  complain,  or  think  themselves  injured  by 
this  man's  encroachment,  though  the  race  of 
men  have  now  spread  themselves  to  all  the 
corners  of  the  world,  and  do  infinitely  exceed 
the  small  number  which  was  at  the  beginning. 
Nay,  the  extent  of  ground  is  of  so  little  value, 
ivithout  labour,  that  I  have  heard  it  affirmed, 
that  in  Spain  itself  a  man  may  be  permitted  to 
plough,  sow  and  reap,  without  being  disturbed, 
upon  land  he  has  no  other  title  to,  but  only  his 
making  use  of  it.  But,  on  the  contrary,  the  in- 
habitants think  themselves  beholden  to  him, 
who,  by  his  industry  on  neglected,  and  conse- 
quently waste  land,  has  increased  the  stock  of 
corn,  which  they  wanted.  But  be  this  as  it  will, 
which  I  lay  no  stress  on ;  this  I  dare  boldly 
affirm,  that  the  same  rule  of  propriety,  (viz.) 
that  every  man  should  have  as  much  as  he 
could  make  use  of,  would  hold  still  in  the 
world,  without  straitening  any  body :  since 
there  is  land  enough  in  the  world  to  suffice 
double  the  inhabitants,  had  not  the  invention 
of  money,  and  the  tacit  agreement  of  men  to 
put  a  value  on  it,  introduced  by  consent,  larger 
possessions,  and  a  right  to  them  ;  which,  how 
it  has  done,  I  shall  by  and  by  shew  more  at 
*.  o7.  This  is  pertain,  that  in  the  beginning, 


before  the  desire  of  having  more  than  man 
needed  had  altered  the  intrinsic  value  of  things, 
which  depends  only  on  their  usefulness  to  the 
life  of  man:  or  had  agreed  that  a  little  piece  of 
yellow  metal,  which  would  keep  without  wast- 
ing or  decay,  should  he  worth  a  great  piece  of 
flesh,  or  a  whole  heap  of  corn ;  though  men 
had  a  right  to  appropriate,  by  their  labour, 
each  one  to  himself,  as  much  of  the  things  of 
nature,  as  he  could  use:  yet  this  could  not  be 
much,  nor  to  the  prejudice  of  others,  where  the 
same  plenty  was  still  left  to  those  who  would 
use  the  same  industry.  To  which  let  me  add, 
that  he,  who  appropriates  land  to  himself  by 
his  labour,  does  not  lessen,  but  increase  the 
common  stock  of  mankind  :  for  the  provisions 
serving  to  the  support  of  human  life,  produced 
by  one  acre  of  inclosed  and  cultivated  land, 
are  (to  speak  much  within  compass)  ten  times 
more  than  those  which  are  yielded  by  an  acre 
of  land  of  an  equal  richness  lying  waste  in 
common.  And  therefore  he  that  incloses  land, 
and  has  a  greater  plenty  of  the  conveniences  of 
life  from  ten  acres,  than  he  could  have  from  an 
hundred  left  to  nature,  may  truly  be  said  to 
give  ninety  acres  to  mankind :  for  his  labour 
now  supplies  him  with  provisions  out  of  ten 
acres,  which  were  but  the  product  of  an  hun- 
dred lying  in  common.  I  have  here  rated  the 
improved  land  very  low,  in  making  its  product 
but  as  ten  to  one,  when  it  is  much  nearer  an 
hundred  to  one :  for  I  ask,  whether  in  the  wild 


woods  and  uncultivated  waste  of  America,  left 
to  nature,  without  any  improvement,  tillage  or 
husbandry,  a  thousand  acres  yield  the  needy 
and  wretched  inhabitants  as  many  conveniences 
of  life,  as  ten  acres  of  equally  fertile  land  do  in 
Devonshire,  where  they  are  well  cultivated. 

Before  the  appropriation  of  land,  he  who 
gathered  as  much  of  the  wild  fruit,  killed, 
caught,  or  tamed,  as  many  of  the  beasts,  as  he 
could;  he  that  so  employed  his  pains  about 
any  of  the  spontaneous  products  of  nature,  as 
any  way  to  alter  them  from  the  state  which 
nature  put  them  in,  by  placing  any  of  his  labour 
on  them,  did  thereby  acquire  a  propriety  in 
them',  but  if  they  perished,  in  his  possession, 
without  their  due  use;  if  the  fruits  rotted,  or 
the  venison  putrified,  before  he  could  spend  it, 
he  offended  against  the  common  law  of  nature, 
and  was  liable  to  be  punished  ;  he  invaded  his 
neighbour's  share  ;  for  lie  had  no  right  farther 
than  his  own  use  called,  for  any  of  them,  and 
they  might  serve  to  afford  him  conveniences 
of  life. 

§.  38.  The  same  measures  governed  the  pos- 
session of  land  too :  whatsoever  he  tilled  and 
reaped,  laid  up  and  made  use  of,  before  it 
spoiled,  that  was  his  peculiar  right ;  whatso- 
ever he  enclosed,  and  could  feed,  and  make 
use  of,  the  cattle  and  product  was  also  his. 
But  if  either  the  grass  of  his  inclosure  rotted 
on  the  ground,  or  the  fruit  of  his  planting 
perished  without  gathering,  and  laying  up,  this 


part  of  the  earth,  notwithstanding  his  inclosure, 
was  still  to  be  looked  on  as  waste,  and  might 
be  the  possession  of  any  other.  Thus,  at  the 
beginning,  Cain  might  take  as  much  ground 
as  he  could  till,  and  make  it  his  own  land,  and 
yet  leave  enough  to  Abels  sheep  to  feed  on ; 
a  few  acres  would  serve  for  both  their  posses- 
sions. But  as  families  increased,  and  industry 
enlarged  their  stocks,  their  possessions  enlarged 
with  the  need  of  them  ;  but  yet  it  was  common- 
ly without  any  fixed  property  in  the  ground 
they  made  use  of,  till  they  incorporated,  settled 
themselves  together,  and  built  cities  ;  and  then, 
by  consent,  they  came  in  time,  to  set  out  the 
bounds  of  their  distinct  territories,  and  agree 
on  limits  between  them  and  their  neighbours ; 
and  by  laws  within  themselves,  settled  the 
properties  of  those  of  the  same  society :  for  we 
see,  that  in  that  part  of  the  world  which  was 
first  inhabited,  and  therefore  like  to  be  best 
peopled,  even  as  low  down  as  Abraham  s  time, 
they  wandered  with  their  flocks,  and  their 
herds,  which  was  their  substance,  freely  up 
and  down  ;  and  this  Abraham  did,  in  a  country 
where  he  was  a  stranger.  Whence  it  is  plain, 
that  at  least  a  great  part  of  the  land  lay  in 
common ;  that  the  inhabitants  valued  it  not, 
nor  claimed  property  in  any  more  than  they 
made  use  of.  But  when  there  was  not  room 
enough  in  the  same  place,  for  their  herds  to 
feed  together,  they  by  consent,  as  Abraham 
and  Lot  did,   Gen.  xiii.  5.  separated  and  en- 


larged  (heir  pasture,  where  it  best  liked  them. 
And  for  the  same  reason  Esau  went  from  his 
father,  and  his  brother,  and  planted  in  mount 
Seir,  Gen.  xxxvi.  6. 

§.  39.  And  thus,  without  supposing  any  pri- 
vate dominion,  and  property  in  Adam,  over  all 
the  world,  exclusive  of  all  other  men,  which 
ran  no  way  be  proved,  nor  any  ones  property 
be  made  out  from  it ;  but  supposing-  the  world 
given,  as  it  was,  to  the  children  of  men  in  com- 
mon, we  see  how  labour  could  make  men  dis- 
tinct titles  to  several  parcels  of  it,  for  their 
private  uses ;  wherein  there  could  be  no  doubt 
of  right,  no  room  for  quarrel. 

§.  40.  Nor  is  it  so  strange,  as  perhaps  before 
consideration  it  may  appear,  that  the  property 
of  labour  should  be  able  to  over-balance  the 
community  of  land  :  for  it  is  labour  indeed  that 
puts  the  difference  of  value  on  every  thing ;  and 
let  any  one  consider  what  the  difference  is 
between  an  acre  of  land  planted  with  tobacco 
or  sugar,  sown  with  wheat  or  barley,  and  an 
acre  of  the  same  land  lying  in  common,  with- 
out any  husbandry  upon  it,  and  he  will  find, 
that  the  improvement  of  labour  makes  the  far 
greater  part  of  the  value.  I  think  it  will  be 
but  a  very  modest  computation  to  say,  that 
of  the  products  of  the  earth  useful  to  the  life  of 
man  nine  tenths  are  the  effects  of  labour:  nay, 
if  we  will  rightly  estimate  things  as  they  come 
to  our  use,  and  cast  up  the  several  expences 
about  them,  what  in  them  is  purely  owing  to 


nature,  and  what  to  labour,  we  shall  find,  that 
in  most  of  them  ninety-nine  hundredths  are 
wholly  to  be  put  on  the  account  of  labour. 

§.41.  There  cannot  be  a  clearer  demon- 
stration of  any  thing,  than  several  nations  of 
the  Americans  are  of  this,  who  are  rich  in  land, 
and  poor  in  all  the  comforts  of  life ;  whom  na- 
ture having  furnished  as  liberally  as  any  other 
people,  with  the  materials  of  plenty,  t.  e.  a 
fruitful  soil,  apt  to  produce  in  abundance,  what 
might  serve  for  food,  raiment,  and  delight;  yet 
for  want  of  improving  it  by  labour,  have  not 
one  hundredth  part  of  the  conveniencies  we 
enjoy;  and  a  king  of  a  large  and  fruitful  terri- 
tory there,  feeds,  lodges,  and  is  clad  worse 
than  a  day-labourer  in  England. 

§.  42.  To  make  this  a  little  clearer,  let  us 
but  trace  some  of  the  ordinary  provisions  of 
life  through  their  several  progresses,  before 
they  come  to  our  use,  and  see  how  much  they 
receive  of  their  value  from  human  industry. 
Bread,  wine  and  cloth,  are  things  of  daily  use, 
and  great  plenty  ;  yet  notwithstanding,  acorns, 
water  and  leaves,  or  skins,  must  be  our  bread, 
drink  and  cloathing,  did  not  labour  furnish  us 
with  these  more  useful  commodities :  for  what- 
ever bread  is  more  worth  than  acorns,  wine 
than  water,  and  cloth  or  silk,  than  leaves,  skins 
or  moss,  that  is  wholly  owing  to  labour  and 
industry ;  the  one  of  these  being  the  food  and 
raiment  which  unassisted  nature  furnishes  us 
with  ;  the  other,  provisions  which  our  industry 


and  pains  prepare  for  us,  which  how  much 
they  exceed  the  other  in  value,  when  any  one 
hath  computed,  he  will  then  see  how  much 
labour  makes  the  far  greatest  part  of  the  value 
of  things  we  enjoy  in  this  world :  and  the 
ground  which  produces  the  materials,  is  scarce 
to  be  reckoned  in,  as  any,  or  at  most,  but  a 
very  small  part  of  it;  so  little,  that  even  amongst 
us,  land  left  wholly  to  nature,  that  hath  no  im- 
provement of  pasturage,  tillage,  or  planting,  is 
called,  as  indeed  it  is,  ivaste;  and  we  shall 
find  the  benefit  of  it  amount  to  little  more  than 

This  shews  how  much  numbers  of  men  are 
to  be  preferred  to  largeness  of  dominions  ;  and 
that  the  increase  of  lands,  and  the  right  em- 
ploying of  them,  is  the  great  art  of  government: 
and  that  prince,  who  shall  be  so  wise  and  god- 
like, as  by  established  laws  of  liberty  to  secure 
protection  and  encouragement  to  the  honest 
industry  of  mankind,  against  the  oppression  of 
power  and  narrowness  of  party,  will  quickly 
be  too  hard  for  his  neighbours:  but  this  by  the 
by.     To  return  to  the  argument  in  hand, 

§.  43.  An  acre  of  land,  that  bears  here 
twenty  bushels  of  wheat,  and  another  in  Ame- 
rica, which  with  the  same  husbandry,  would 
do  the  like,  are,  without  doubt,  of  the  same 
natural  intrinsic  value :  but  yet  the  benefit 
mankind  receives  from  one  in  a  year,  is  worth 
51.  and  from  the  other  possibly  not  worth  a 
penny,  if  all  the  profit  an  Indian  received  from 


it  were  to  be  valued  and  sold  here ;  at  least  I 
may  truly  say,  not  one  thousandth.  It  is 
labour  then  which  puts  the  greatest  part  of  value 
upon  land,  without  which  it  would  scarcely  be 
worth  any  thing:  it  is  to  that  we  owe  the 
greatest  part  of  all  its  useful  products  ;  for  all 
that  the  straw,  bran,  bread,  of  that  acre  of 
wheat,  is  more  worth  than  the  product  of  an 
acre  of  as  good  land,  which  lies  waste,  is  all 
the  effect  of  labour:  for  it  is  not  barely  the 
ploughman's  pains,  the  reaper's  and  thresher's 
toil,  and  the  baker's  sweat,  is  to  be  counted 
into  the  bread  we  eat;  the  labour  of  those  who 
broke  the  oxen,  who  digged  and  wrought  the 
iron  and  stones,  who  felled  and  framed  the 
timber  employed  about  the  plough,  mill,  oven, 
or  any  other  utensils,  which  are  a  vast  number, 
requisite  to  this  corn,  from  its  being  seed  to  be 
sown  to  its  being  made  bread,  must  all  be 
charged  on  the  account  of  labour,  and  received 
as  an  effect  of  that :  nature  and  the  earth  fur- 
nished only  the  almost  worthless  materials,  as 
in  themselves.  It  would  be  a  strange  catalogue 
of  things,  that  industry  provided  and  made  use  of 
about  every  loaf  of  bread,  before  it  came  to  our 
use,  if  we  could  trace  them ;  iron,  wood,  leather, 
bark,  timber,  stone,  bricks,  coals,  lime,  cloth, 
dying  drugs,  pitch,  tar,  masts,  ropes,  and  all 
the  materials  made  use  of  in  the  ship,  that 
brought  any  of  the  commodities  made  use  of  by 
any  of  the  workmen,  toany  part  of  the  work  ;  all 
which  it  would  be  almost  impossible,  at  least 
too  long  to  reckon  up. 


§.  44.  From  all  which  it  is  evident,  that 
though  the  things  of  nature  are  given  in  com- 
mon, yet  man,  by  being  master  of  himself,  and 
proprietor  of  his  own  person,  and  the  actions  or 
labour  of  it,  had  still  in  himself  the  great  foun- 
dation of  property ;  and  that,  which  made  up 
the  great  part  of  what  he  applied  to  the  sup- 
port or  comfort  of  his  being,  when  invention 
and  arts  had  improved  theconveniencies  of  life, 
was  perfectly  his  own,  and  did  not  belong  in 
common  to  others. 

§.  45.  Thus  labour,  in  the  beginning,  gave  a 
right  of  property,  wherever  any  one  was  pleased 
to  employ  it  upon  what  was  common,  which 
remained  a  long  while  the  far  greater  part,  and 
is  yet  more  than  mankind  makes  use  of.  Men, 
at  first,  for  the  most  part,  contented  themselves 
with  what  unassisted  nature  offered  to  their 
necessities ;  and  though  afterwards,  in  some 
parts  of  the  world,  (where  the  increase  of 
people  and  stock,  with  the  use  of  money,  had 
made  land  scarce,  and  so  of  some  value)  the 
several  communities  settled  the  bounds  of  their 
distinct  territories,  and  by  laws  within  them- 
selves regulated  the  properties  of  the  private 
men  of  their  society,  and  so,  by  compact  and 
agreement,  settled  the  property  which  labour 
and  industry  began  ;  and  the  leagues  that  have 
been  made  between  several  states  and  king- 
doms, either  expressly  or  tacitly  disowning  all 
claim  and  right  to  the  land  in  the  others  posses- 
sion, have,  by  common  consent,  given  up  their 



pretences  to  their  natural  common  right,  which 
originally  they  had  to  those  countries,  and  so 
have,  by  positive  agreement,  settled  a  property 
amongst  themselves,  in  distinct  parts  and  par- 
cels of  the  earth ;  yet  there  are  still  great  tracts 
of  ground  to  be  found,  which  (the  inhabitants 
thereof  not  having  joined  with  the  rest  of  man- 
kind, in  the  consent  of  the  use  of  their  common 
money)  lie  tvaste,  and  are  more  than  the  people 
who  dwell  on  it  do,  or  can  make  use  of,  and 
so  still  lie  in  common ;  though  this  can  scarce 
happen  amongst  that  part  of  mankind  that  have 
consented  to  the  use  of  money. 

§.  46.  The  greatest  part  of  things  really 
useful  to  the  life  of  man,  and  such  as  the  neces- 
sity of  subsisting  made  the  first  commoners  of 
the  world  look  after,  as  it  doth  the  Americans 
now,  are  generally  things  of  short  duration! 
such  as,  if  they  are  not  consumed  by  use,  will 
decay  and  perish  of  themselves :  gold,  silver, 
and  diamonds,  are  things  that  fancy  or  agree- 
ment hath  put  the  value  on,  more  than  real  use, 
and  the  necessary  support  of  life.  Now  of 
those  good  things  which  nature  hath  provided 
in  common,  every  one  had  a  right  (as  hath  been 
said)  to  as  much  as  he  could  use,  and  property 
in  all  that  he  could  effect  with  his  labour ;  all 
that  his  industry  could  extend  to,  to  alter  from 
the  state  nature  had  put  it  in,  was  his.  He  that 
gathered  a  hundred  bushels  of  acorns  or  apples, 
had  thereby  a  property  in  them,  they  were  his 
goods  as  soon  as  gathered.     He  was  only  to 


look,  lhat  he  used  them  before  they  spoiled, 
else  he  took  more  than  his  share,  and  robbed 
others.  And  indeed  it  was  a  foolish  thing,  as 
well  as  dishonest,  to  hoard  up  more  than  he 
could  make  use  of.  If  he  gave  away  a  part  to 
any  body  else,  so  that  it  perished  not  uselessly 
in  his  possession,  these  he  also  made  use  of. 
And  if  he  also  bartered  away  plums,  that  would 
have  rotted  in  a  week,  for  nuts  that  would  last 
good  for  his  eating  a  whole  year,  he  did  no 
injury ;  he  wasted  not  the  common  stock ; 
destroyed  no  part  of  the  portion  of  goods  that 
belonged  to  others,  so  long  as  nothing  perished 
uselessly  in  his  hand.  Again,  if  he  would  give 
his  nuts  for  a  piece  of  metal,  pleased  with  its 
colour;  or  exchange  his  sheep  for  shells,  or 
wool  for  a  sparkling  pebble  or  a  diamond,  and 
keep  those  by  him  all  his  life,  he  invaded  not 
the  right  of  others,  he  might  heap  up  as  much 
of  these  durable  things  as  he  pleased  :  the  ex- 
ceeding of  the  bounds  of  his  just  property  not 
lying  in  the  largeness  of  his  possession,  but  the 
perishing  of  any  thing  uselessly  in  it. 

§.  47.  And  thus  came  in  the  use  of  money, 
some  lasting  thing  that  men  might  keep 
without  spoiling,  and  that  by  mutual  consent 
men  would  take  in  exchange  for  the  truly 
useful,  but  perishable  supports  of  life. 

§.  48.  And   as  different  degrees  of  industry 

were  apt  to  give  men  possessions  in  different 

proportions,   so  this   invention  of  money  gave 

them  the  opportunity  to  continue  and  enlarge 

*  q  2 

228  Of  civil  GOVERNMENT. 

them  :  for  supposing  an  island,  separate  from 
all  possible  commerce  with  the  rest  of  the 
world,  wherein  there  were  but  an  hundred 
families,  but  there  were  sheep,  horses,  and 
cows,  with  other  useful  animals,  wholesome 
fruits,  and  land  enough  for  corn  for  a  hundred 
thousand  times  as  many,  but  nothing  in  the 
island,  either  because  of  its  commonness,  or 
perishableness,  fit  to  supply  the  place  of  money ; 
what  reason  could  any  one  have  there  to  en- 
large his  possessions  beyond  the  use  of  his 
family,  and  a  plentiful  supply  to  its  consumption, 
either  in  what  their  own  industry  produced,  or 
they  could  barter  for  like  perishable,  useful 
commodities  with  others?  Where  there  is  not 
some  thing,  both  lasting  and  scarce,  and  so 
valuable  to  be  hoarded  up,  there  men  will  be 
apt  to  enlarge  their  possessions  of  land,  were 
it  never  so  rich,  never  so  free  for  them  to  take: 
for  I  ask,  what  would  a  man  value  ten  thou- 
sand, or  an  hundred  thousand  acres  of  excel- 
lent land,  ready  cultivated,  and  well  stocked 
too  with  cattle,  in  the  middle  of  the  inland  parts 
of  America,  where  he  had  no  hopes  of  com- 
merce with  other  parts  of  the  world,  to  draw 
money  to  him  by  the  sale  of  the  product?  It 
would  not  be  worth  the  inclosing,  and  we 
should  see  him  give  up  again  to  the  wild  com- 
mon of  nature,  whatever  was  more  than  would 
supply  the  conveniencies  of  life  to  be  had  there 
for  him  and  his  family. 

§.  49.  Thus  in  the  beginning  all  the  world 


was  America,  and  more  so  than  that  is  now ; 
for  no  such  thing-  as  money  was  any  where 
known.  Find  out  something  that  hath  the 
use  and  value  of  money  amongst  his  neighbours, 
you  shall  see  the  same  man  will  begin  presently 
to  enlarge  his  possessions. 

§.  50.  But  since  gold  and  silver,  being  little 
useful  to  the  life  of  men  in  proportion  to  food, 
raiment,  and  carriage,  has  its  value  only  from 
the  consent  of  men,  whereof  labour  yet  makesy 
in  great  part,  the  measure,  it  is  plain,  that  men 
have  agreed  to  a  disproportionate  and  unequal 
possession  of  the  earth,  they  having,  by  a  tacit 
and  voluntary  consent,  found  out  a  way  how  a 
man  may  fairly  possess  more  land  than  he  him- 
self can  use  the  product  of,  by  receiving  in  ex- 
change for  the  overplus  gold  and  silver,  which 
may  be  hoarded  up  without  injury  to  any  one; 
these  metals  not  spoiling  or  decaying  in  the 
hands  of  the  possessor.  This  partage  of  things 
in  an  equality  of  private  possessions,  men  have 
made  practicable  out  of  the  bounds  of  society, 
and  without  compact,  only  by  putting  a  value 
on  gold  and  silver,  and  tacitly  agreeing  in  the  use 
of  money  :  for  in  governments,  the  laws  regu- 
late the  right  of  property,  and  the  possession 
of  land  is  determined  by  positive  constitutions. 

§.  51.  And  thus,  I  think,  it  is  very  easy  to 
conceive,  without  any  difficulty,  how  labour 
could  at  first  begin  a  title  to  property  in  the 
common  things  of  nature,  and  how  the  spending 
it  upon  our  uses  bounded  it,     80  that  there 


could  then  be  no  reason  of  quarrelling  about 
title,  nor  any  doubt  about  the  largeness  of  pos- 
session it  gave.  Right  and  conveniency  went 
together ;  for  as  a  man  had  a  right  to  all  he 
could  employ  his  labour  upon,  so  he  had  no 
temptation  to  labour  for  more  than  he  could 
make  use  of.  This  left  no  room  for  controversy 
about  the  title,  nor  for  incroachment  on  the 
right  of  others ;  what  portion  a  man  carved  to 
himself  was  easily  seen;  and  it  was  useless,  as 
well  as  dishonest,  to  carve  himself  too  much, 
or  take  more  than  he  needed. 


Of  Paternal  Power. 

§,  52.  It  may  perhaps  be  censured  as  an  im- 
pertinent criticism,  in  a  discourse  of  this  nature, 
to  find  fault  with  words  and  names,  that  have 
obtained  in  the  world :  and  yet  possibly  it  may 
not  be  amiss  to  offer  new  ones,  when  the  old 
are  apt  to  lead  men  into  mistakes,  as  this  of 
j)atemal  power  probably  has  done,  which  seems 
so  to  place  the  power  of  parents  over  their 
children  wholly  in  the  father,  as  if  the  mother 
had  no  share  in  it ;  whereas,  if  we  consult  rea- 
son or  revelation,  we  shall  find,  she  hath  an 
equal  title.  This  may  give  one  reason  to  ask, 
whether  this  might  not  be  more  properly  called 
parental  power?  for  whatever  obligation  nature 
and  the  right  of  generation  lays  on  children,  it 


must  certainly  bind  them  equal  to  both  the 
concurrent  causes  of  it.  And  accordingly  we 
see  the  positive  law  of  God  every  where  joins 
them  together,  without  distinction,  when  it 
commands  the  obedience  of  children,  Honour 
thy  father  and  thy  mother,  Exod.  xx.  12. 
Whosoever  curseth  his  father  or  his  mother, 
Lev.  xx.  0.  Ye  shall  fear  every  man  his  mother 
and  his  father,  Lev.  xix.  3.  Children,  obey 
your  parents,  &c.  Eph.  vi.  1.  is  the  stile  of  the 
Old  and  New  Testament. 

§.  53.  Had  but  this  one  thing  been  well  con- 
sidered, without  looking  any  deeper  into  the 
matter,  it  might  perhaps  have  kept  men  from 
running  into  those  gross  mistakes,  they  have 
made,  about  this  power  of  parents ;  which, 
however  it  might,  without  any  great  harshness, 
bear  the  name  of  absolute  dominion,  and  regal 
authority,  when  under  the  title  of  paternal 
power  it  seemed  appropriated  to  the  father, 
would  yet  have  sounded  but  oddly,  and  in  the 
very  name  shewn  the  absurdity,  if  this  sup- 
posed absolute  power  over  children  had  been 
called  parental;  and  thereby  have  discovered, 
that  it  belonged  to  the  mother  too :  for  it  will 
but  very  ill  serve  the  turn  of  those  men,  who 
contend  so  much  for  the  absolute  power  and 
authority  of  the  fatherhood,  as  they  call  it,  that 
the  mother  should  have  any  share  in  it;  and  it 
woidd  have  but  ill  supported  the  monarchy 
they  contend  for,  when  by  the  very  name  it 
appeared,    that   that    fundamental    authority, 


from  whence  they  would  derive  their  govern- 
ment of  a  single  person  only,  was  not  placed  in 
one,  but  two  persons  jointly.  But  to  let  this 
of  names  pass. 

§.  54.  Though  I  have  said  above,  Chap.  II. 
That  all  men  by  nature  are  equal,  I  cannot  be 
supposed  to  understand  all  sorts  of  equality : 
age  or  virtue  may  give  men  a  just  precedency : 
excellency  of  parts  and  merit  may  place  others 
above  the  common  level :  birth  may  subject 
some,  and  alliance  or  benefits  others,  to  pay  an 
observance  to  those  whom  nature,  gratitude, 
or  other  respects,  may  have  made  it  due :  and 
yet  all  this  consists  with  the  equality,  which  all 
men  are  in,  in  respect  of  jurisdiction  or  domi- 
nion one  over  another ;  which  was  the  equality 
I  there  spoke  of,  as  proper  to  the  business  in 
hand,  being  that  equal  right,  that  every  man 
hath,  to  his  natural  freedom,  without  being  sub- 
jected to  the  will  or  authority  of  any  other 

§.  55.  Children,  I  confess,  are  not  born  in 
this  full  state  of  equality,  though  they  are  born 
to  it.  Their  parents  have  a  sort  of  rule  and 
jurisdiction  over  them,  when  they  come  into  the 
world,  and  for  some  time  after;  but  it  is  but  a 
temporary  one.  The  bonds  of  this  subjection 
are  like  the  swaddling  clothes  they  are  wrapt 
up  in,  and  supported  by,  in  the  weakness  of 
their  infancy :  age  and  reason,  as  they  grow 
up,  loosen  them,  till  at  length  they  drop  quite 
off,  and  leave  a  man  at  his  own  free  disposal. 


§.  56.  Adam  was  created  a  perfect  man,  his 
body  and  mind  in  full  possession  of  their 
strength  and  reason,  and  so  was  capable,  from 
the  first  instant  of  his  being  to  provide  for  his 
own  support  and  preservation,  and  govern  his 
actions  according  to  the  dictates  of  the  law  of 
reason  which  God  had  implanted  in  him.  From 
him  the  world  is  peopled  with  his  descendants, 
who  are  all  born  infants,  weak  and  helpless, 
without  knowledge  or  understanding:  but  to 
supply  the  defects  of  this  imperfect  state,  till 
the  improvement  of  growth  and  age  hath  re- 
moved them,  Adam  and  Eve,  and  after  them 
all  parents  were,  by  the  law  of  nature,  tinder 
an  obligation  to  preserve,  nourish,  and  educate 
the  children  they  had  begotten;  not  as  their 
own  workmanship,  but  the  workmanship  of 
their  own  maker,  the  Almighty,  to  whom  they 
were  to  be  accountable  for  them. 

§.  57.  The  law,  that  was  to  govern  Adam, 
was  the  same  that  was  to  govern  all  his  pos- 
terity, the  law  of  reason.  But  his  offspring 
having  another  way  of  entrance  into  the  world, 
different  from  him,  by  a  natural  birth,  that 
produced  them  ignorant  and  without  the  use 
of  reason,  they  were  not  presently  under  that 
law;  for  no  body  can  be  under  a  law,  which 
is  not  promulgated  to  him ;  and  by  this  law 
being  promulgated  or  made  known  by  reason 
only,  he  that  is  not  come  to  the  use  of  his  rea- 
son, cannot  be  said  to  be  under  this  law ;  and 
Adam's  children,  being  not  presently  as  soon  as 


born  under  this  law  of  reason,  were  not  pre- 
se\\t\y  free:  for  law,  in  its  true  notion,  is  not  so 
much  the  limitation  as  the  direction  of  a  free 
and  intelligent  agent  to  his  proper  interest,  and 
prescribes  no  farther  than  is  for  the  general 
good  of  those  under  that  law:  could  they  be 
happier  without  it,  the  law,  as  an  useless  thing-, 
would  of  itself  vanish  ;  and  that  ill  deserves 
the  name  of  confinement  which  hedges  us  in 
only  from  bogs  and  precipices.  So  that, 
however  it  may  be  mistaken,  the  end  of  law  is 
not  to  abolish  or  restrain,  but  to  preserve  and 
enlarge  freedom  :  for  in  all  the  states  of  created 
beings  capable  of  laws,  where  there  is  no  law, 
there  is  no  freedom:  fox  liberty  is,  to  be  free 
from  restraint  and  violence  from  others ;  which 
cannot  be,  where  there  is  no  law  :  but  freedom 
is  not,  as  we  are  told,  a  liberty  for  every  man  to 
do  what  he  lists:  (for  who  could  be  free,  when 
every  other  mans  humour  might  domineer  over 
him  ?)  but  a  liberty  to  dispose  and  order  as  he 
lists,  his  person,  actions,  possessions,  and  his 
whole  property,  within  the  allowance  of  those 
laws  under  which  he  is,  and  therein  not  to  be 
subject  to  the  arbitrary  will  of  another,  but 
freely  follow  his  own. 

§.  58.  The  power,  then,  that  parents  have 
over  their  children,  arises  from  that  duty  which 
is  incumbent  on  them,  to  take  care  of  their 
offspring,  during  the  imperfect  state  of  child- 
hood. To  inform  the  mind,  and  govern  the 
actions  of  their  yet  ignorant  non-age,  till  reason 


shall  take  its  place,  and  ease  them  of  that 
trouble,  is  what  the  children  want,  and  the 
parents  are  bound  to ;  for  God  having  given 
man  an  understanding  to  direct  his  actions, 
has  allowed  him  a  freedom  of  will,  and  liberty 
of  acting,  as  properly  belonging  thereunto, 
within  the  bounds  of  that  law  he  is  under.  But 
whilst  he  is  in  an  estate,  wherein  he  has  not 
understanding  of  his  own  to  direct  his  will,  he 
is  not  to  have  any  ivill  of  his  own  to  follow : 
he  that  understands  for  him,  must  will  for  him 
too  ;  he  must  prescribe  to  his  will,  and  regulate 
his  actions ;  but  when  he  comes  to  the  estate 
that  made  his  father  a  free  man,  the  son  is  a 
free  man  too. 

§.  59.  This  holds  in  all  the  laws  a  man  is 
under,  whether  natural  or  civil.  Is  a  man 
under  the  law  of  nature?  What  made  him  free 
of  that  law?  what  gave  him  a  free  disposing  of 
his  property,  according  to  his  own  will,  within 
the  compass  of  that  law  ?  I  answer,  a  state  of 
maturity  wherein  he  might  be  supposed 
capable  to  know  that  law,  that  so  he  might 
keep  his  actions  within  the  bounds  of  it.  When 
he  has  acquired  that  state,  he  is  presumed  to 
know  how  far  that  law  is  to  be  his  guide,  and 
how  far  he  may  make  use  of  his  freedom,  and 
so  comes  to  have  it;  till  then,  somebody  else 
must  guide  him,  who  is  presumed  to  know  how 
far  the  law  allows  a  liberty.  If  such  a  state  of 
reason,  such  an  age  of  discretion  made  him  free, 
the  same  shall  make  his  son  free  loo.    Js  a  man 


under  the  law  of  England?  What  made  him 
free  of  that  law  ?  that  is,  to  have  the  liberty  to 
dispose  of  his  actions  and  possessions  accord- 
ing to  his  own  will,  within  the  permission  of 
that  law?  A  capacity  of  knowing*  that  law; 
which  is  supposed  by  that  law,  at  the  age  of 
one-and-twenty  years,  and  in  some  cases 
sooner.  If  this"  made  the  father  free,  it  shall 
make  the  son  free  too.  Till  then  we  see  the 
law  allows  the  son  to  have  no  will,  but  he  is 
to  be  guided  by  the  will  of  his  father  or  guar- 
dian, who  is  to  understand  for  him.  And  if 
the  father  die,  and  fail  to  substitute  a  deputy  in 
his  trust;  if  he  hath  not  provided  a  tutor,  to 
govern  his  son,  during  his  minority,  during  his 
want  of  understanding,  the  law  takes  care  to  do 
it;  some  other  must  govern  him,  and  be  a  will 
to  him,  till  he  hath  attained  to  a  state  of  freedom, 
and  his  understanding  be  fit  to  take  the  govern- 
ment of  his  will.  But  after  that,  the  father 
and  son  are  equally  free  as  much  as  pupil  and 
tutor  after  non-age;  equally  subjects  of  the 
same  law  together,  without  any  dominion  left 
in  the  father  over  the  life,  liberty,  or  estate  of 
his  son,  whether  they  be  only  in  the  state  and 
under  the  law  of  nature,  or  under  the  positive 
laws  of  an  established  government. 

§.  60.  But  if,  through  defects  that  may 
happen  out  of  the  ordinary  course  of  nature, 
any  one  conies  not  to  such  a  degree  of  reason, 
wherein  he  might  be  supposed  capable  of 
knowing  the  law,  and  so  living  within  the  rules 


of  it,  he  is  never  capable  of  being  a  free  man, 
he  is  never  let  loose  to  the  disposure  of  his 
own  will  (because  he  knows  no  bounds  to  it, 
has  not  understanding,  its  proper  guide)  but  is 
continued  under  the  tuition  and  government 
of  others,  all  the  time  his  own  understanding  is 
uncapable  of  that  charge.  And  so  lunatics  and 
ideots  are  never  set  free  from  the  government 
of  their  parents;  children,  who  are  not  as  yet 
come  unto  those  years  whereat  they  may  have ; 
and  innocents  which  are  excluded  by  a  natural 
defect  from,  ever  having;  thirdly,  madmen, 
which  for  the  present  cannot  jwssibly  have  the 
use  of  right  reason  to  guide  themselves,  have  for 
their  guide,  the  reasoji  that  guideth  other  men 
which  are  tutors  over  them,  to  seek  and  procure 
their  good  for  them,  says  Hooker,  Eccl.  Pol. 
lib.  i.  sect.  7.  All  which  seems  no  more  than 
that  duty,  which  God  and  nature  has  laid  on 
man,  as  well  as  other  creatures,  to  preserve 
their  off-spring,  till  they  can  be  able  to  shift  for 
themselves,  and  will  scarce  amount  to  an 
instance  or  proof  of  parents  regal  authority. 

§.61.  Thus  we  are  born  free,  as  we  are  born 
rational ;  not  that  we  have  actually  the  exer- 
cise of  either:  age,  that  brings  one,  brings  with 
it  the  other  too.  And  thus  we  see  how  natural 
freedom  and  subjection  to  parents  may  consist 
together,  and  are  both  founded  on  the  sameprin- 
ciple.  A  child  isyreeby  his  father's  title,  by  his 
father's  understanding,  which  is  to  govern  him 
till  lie  hath  it  of  his  own.     Thefreedom  of  a  man 


at  years  of  discretion,  and  the  subjection  of  a 
child  to  his  parents  whilst  yet  short  of  that  age, 
are  so  consistent,  and  so  distinguishable,  that 
the  most  blinded  contenders  for  monarchy,  by 
right  of  fatherhood,  cannot  miss  this  difference  ; 
the  most  obstinate  cannot  but  allow  their  con- 
sistency :  for  were  their  doctrine  all  true,  were 
the  right  heir  of  Adam  now  known,  and  by 
that  title  settled  a  monarch  in  his  throne,  in- 
vested with  all  the  absolute  unlimited  power 
Sir  Robert  Filmer  talks  of;  if  he  should  die  as 
soon  as  his  heir  were  born,  must  not  the  child, 
notwithstanding  he  were  never  so  free,  never  so 
much  sovereign,  be  in  subjection  to  his  mother 
and  nurse,  to  tutors  and  governors,  till  age  and 
education  brought  him  reason  and  ability  to 
govern  himself  and  others?  The  necessities  of 
his  life,  the  health  of  his  body,  and  the  infor- 
mation of  his  mind,  would  require  him  to  be 
directed  by  the  will  of  others,  and  not  his  own; 
and  yet  will  any  one  think,  that  this  restraint 
and  subjection  were  inconsistent  with,  or 
spoiled  him  of  that  liberty  or  sovereignty  he 
had  a  right  to,  or  gave  away  his  empire  to  those 
who  had  the  government  of  his  non-age?  This 
government  over  him  only  prepared  him  the 
better  and  sooner  for  it.  If  any  body  should 
ask  me,  when  my  son  is  of  age  to  be  free?  I 
shall  answer,  just  when  his  monarch  is  of  age 
to  govern.  Hut  at  ichat  time,  says  the  judicious 
Hooker,  Eccl.  Pol.  1.  i.  sect.  G.  a  man  may  be 
said  to  have  attained  so  far  forth  the  use  of 


reason,  as  snfficclh  to  make  him  capable  of  those 
laws  whereby  he  is  then  bound  to  guide  his 
actions:  this  is  a  great  deal  more  easy  for  sense 
to  discern,  than  for  any  one  by  skill  and  learn- 
ing to  determine. 

%.  G2.  Commonwealths  themselves  take  no- 
tice of,  and  allow,  that  there  is  a  time  when 
men  are  to  begin  to  act  like  free  men,  and  there- 
fore till  that  time  require  not  oaths  of  fealty, 
or  allegiance,  or  other  public  owning-  of,  or 
submission  to  the  government  of  their  countries. 

§.  03.  The  freedom  then  of  man,  and  liberty 
of  acting  according  to  his  own  will,  is  grounded 
on  his  having  reason,  which  is  able  to  instruct 
him  in  that  law  he  is  to  govern  himself  by,  and 
make  him  know  how  far  he  is  left  to  the  freedom 
of  his  own  will.  To  turn  him  loose  to  an  un- 
restrained liberty,  before  he  has  reason  to 
guide  him,  is  not  the  allowing  him  the  privilege 
of  his  nature  to  be  free;  but  to  thrust  him  out 
amongst  brutes,  and  abandon  him  to  a  state  as 
wretched,  and  as  much  beneath  that  of  a  man, 
as  their's.  This  is  that  which  puts  the  autho- 
rity into  the  parents  hands  to  govern  the 
minority  of  their  children.  God  hath  made  it 
their  business  to  employ  this  care  on  their  off- 
spring, and  hath  placed  in  them  suitable  incli- 
nations of  tenderness  and  concern  to  temper 
this  power,  to  apply  it,  as  his  wisdom  designed 
it,  to  the  children's  good,  as  long  as  they 
should  need  to  be  under  it. 

§.  64.    But  what  reason   can  hence  advance 


this  care  of  the  parents  due  to  their  offspring 
into  an  absolute  arbitary  dominion  of  the  father, 
whose  power  reaches  no  farther  than  by  such  a 
discipline,  as  he  finds  most  effectual,  to  give 
such  strength  and  health  to  their  bodies,  such 
vigour  and  rectitude  to  their  minds,  as  may 
best  fit  his  children  to  be  most  useful  to  them- 
selves and  others ;  and,  if  it  be  necessary  to 
his  condition,  to  make  them  work,  when  they 
are  able,  for  their  own  subsistence.  But  in 
this  power  the  mother  too  has  her  share  with 
the  father. 

§.  65.  Nay,  this  power  so  little  belongs  to 
the  father  by  any  peculiar  right  of  nature,  but 
only  as  he  is  guardian  of  his  children,  that 
when  he  quits  his  care  of  them,  he  loses  his 
power  over  them,  which  goes  along  with  their 
nourishment  and  education,  to  which  it  is  in- 
separably annexed ;  and  it  belongs  as  much  to 
the  foster-father  of  an  exposed  child,  as  to  the 
natural  father  of  another.  So  little  power  does 
the  bare  act  of  begetting-  give  a  man  over  his 
issue ;  if  all  his  care  ends  there,  and  this  be 
all  the  title  he  hath  to  the  name  and  authority 
of  a  father.  And  what  will  become  of  this 
paternal  power  in  that  part  of  the  world,  where 
one  woman  hath  more  than  one  husband  at  a 
time?  or  in  those  parts  of  America,  where, 
when  the  husband  and  wife  part,  which  hap- 
pens frequently,  the  children  are  all  left  to  the 
mother,  follow  her,  and  are  wholly  under  her 
care  and  provision?  If  the   father  die   whilst 


the  children  are  young,  do  they  not  naturally 
every  where  owe  the  same  obedience  to  their 
mother,  during  their  minority,  as  to  their  father 
were  he  alive?  and  will  any  one  say,  that  the 
mother  hath  a  legislative  power  over  her 
children?  that  she  can  make  standing  rules, 
which  shall  be  of  perpetual  obligation,  by  which 
they  ought  to  regulate  all  the  concerns  of  their 
property,  and  bound  their  liberty  all  the  course 
of  their  lives?  or  can  she  inforce  the  observa- 
tion of  them  with  capital  punishments?  for  this 
is  the  proper  power  of  the  magistrate,  of  which 
the  father  hath  not  so  much  as  the  shadow. 
His  command  over  his  children  is  but  tempo- 
rary, and  reaches  not  their  life  or  property :  it 
is  but  a  help  to  the  weakness  and  imperfection 
of  their  non-age,  a  discipline  necessary  to  their 
education.:  and  though  a  father  may  dispose 
of  his  own  possessions  as  he  pleases,  when  his 
children  are  out  of  danger  of  perishing  for  want, 
yet  his  power  extends  not  to  the  lives  or  goods, 
which  either  their  own  industry,  or  another's 
bounty  has  made  their's ;  nor  to  their  liberty 
neither,  when  they  are  once  arrived  to  the  in- 
franchisement  of  the  years  of  discretion.  The 
father  s  empire  then  ceases,  and  he  can  from 
thence  forwards  no  more  dispose  of  the  liberty 
of  his  son,  than  that  of  any  other  man  :  and  it 
must  be  far  from  an  absolute  or  perpetual  juris- 
diction, from  which  a  man  may  withdraw  him- 
self, having  licence  from  divine  authority  to 
leave  father  and  mother,  and  cleave  to  his  ivife. 



§.  66.  But  though  there  be  a  time  when  a 
child  comes  to  be  as  free  from  subjection  to  the 
will  and  command  of  his  father,  as  the  father 
himself  is  free  from  subjection  to  the  will  of 
any  body  else,  and  they  are  each  under  no  other 
restraint,  but  that  which  is  common  to  them 
both,  whether  it  be  the  law  of  nature,  or  munici- 
pal law  of  their  country ;  yet  this  freedom 
exempts  not  a  son  from  that  honour  which  he 
ought,  by  the  law  of  God  and  nature,  to  pay 
his  parents.  God  having  made  the  parents 
instruments  in  his  great  design  of  continuing  the 
race  of  mankind,  and  the  occasions  of  life  to 
their  children:  as  he  hath  laid  on  them  an 
obligation  to  nourish,  preserve,  and  bring  up 
their  offspring ;  so  he  has  laid  on  the  children  a 
perpetual  obligation  of  honouring  their  jicwents, 
which  containing  in  it  an  inward  esteem  and 
reverence  to  be  shewn  by  all  outward  expres- 
sions, ties  up  the  child  from  any  thing  that  may 
ever  injure  or  affront,  disturb  or  endanger,  the 
happiness  or  life  of  those  from  whom  he 
received  his  ;  and  engages  him  in  all  actions  of 
defence,  relief,  assistance  and  comfort  of  those, 
by  whose  means  he  entered  into  being,  and  has 
been  made  capable  of  any  enjoyments  of  life : 
from  this  obligation  no  state,  no  freedom  can 
absolve  children.  But  this  is  very  far  from 
giving  parents  a  power  of  command  over  their 
children,  or  an  authority  to  make  laws  and 
dispose  as  they  please  of  their  lives  or  liberties. 
It  is  one  thing  to  owe  honour,  respect,  gratitude 


and  assistance;  another  to  require  an  absolute 
obedience  and  submission.  The  honour  due  to 
parents,  a  monarch  in  his  throne  owes  his 
mother ;  and  yet  this  lessens  not  his  authority, 
nor  subjects  him  to  her  government. 

§.  67.  The  subjection  of  a  minor  places  in 
the  father  a  temporary  government,  which  ter- 
minates with  the  minority  of  the  child  :  and  the 
honour  due  from  a  child  places  in  the  parents  a 
perpetual  right  to  respect,  reverence,  support 
and  compliance  too,  more  or  less,  as  the  fa- 
ther's care,  cost,  and  kindness  in  his  education, 
has  been  more  or  less.  This  ends  not  with 
minority,  but  holds  in  all  parts  and  conditions 
of  a  man's  life.  The  want  of  distinguishing 
these  two  powers,  viz.  that  which  the  father 
hath  in  the  right  of  tuition,  during  minority, 
and  the  right  of  honour  all  his  life,  may  per- 
haps have  caused  a  great  part  of  the  mistakes 
about  this  matter :  for  to  speak  properly  of 
them,  the  first  of  these  is  rather  the  privilege 
of  children,  and  duty  of  parents,  than  any 
prerogative  of  paternal  power.  The  nourish- 
ment and  education  of  their  children  is  a 
charge  so  incumbent  on  parents  for  their  chil- 
dren's good,  that  nothing  can  absolve  them 
from  taking  care  of  it :  and  though  the  power 
of  commanding  and  chastising-  them  go  along 
with  it,  yet  God  hath  woven  into  the  principles 
of  humam  nature  such  a  tenderness  for  their 
offspring,  that  there  is  little  fear  that  parents 
should  use  their  power  with  too  much  rigour ; 

r  2 


the  excess  is  seldom  on  the  severe  side,  the 
strong  bias  of  nature  drawing  the  other  way. 
And  therefore  God  Almighty  when  he  would 
express  his  gentle  dealing  with  the  Israelites, 
he  tells  them,  that  though  he  chastened  them, 
he  chastens  them  as  a  man  chastens  his  son, 
Deut.  viii.  5.  i.  e.  with  tenderness  and  affec- 
tion, and  kept  them  under  no  severer  discipline 
than  what  was  absolutely  best  for  them,  and 
had  been  less  kindness  to  have  slackened. 
This  is  that  power  to  which  children  are  com- 
manded obedience,  that  the  pains  and  care  of 
their  parents  may  not  be  increased,  or  ill 

§.  68.  On  the  other  side,  honour  and  support, 
all  that  which  gratitude  requires  to  return  for 
the  benefits  received  by  and  from  them,  is  the 
indispensible  duty  of  the  child,  and  the  proper 
privilege  of  the  parents.  This  is  intended  for 
the  parent's  advantage,  as  the  other  is  for  the 
child's ;  though  education,  the  parent's  duty, 
seems  to  have  most  power,  because  the  igno- 
rance and  infirmities  of  childhood  stand  in 
need  of  restraint  and  correction ;  which  is  a 
visible  exercise  of  rule,  and  a  kind  of  do- 
minion. And  that  duty  which  is  comprehen- 
ded in  the  word  honour  requires  less  obedience, 
though  the  obligation  be  stronger  on  grown, 
than  younger  children :  for  who  can  think  the 
command,  Children  obey  your  parents,  requires 
in  a  man,  that  has  children  of  his  own,  the 
same  submission  to  his  father,  as  it  does  in  his 


yet  young  children  to  him ;  and  that  by  this 
precept  he  were  bound  to  obey  all  his  lather's 
commands,  if,  out  of  a  conceit  of  authority,  he 
should  have  the  indiscretion  to  treat  him  still 
as  a  boy  ? 

§.  69.  The  first  part  then  of  paternal  power, 
or  rather  duty,  which  is  education,  belongs  so 
to  the  father,  that  it  terminates  at  a  certain 
season ;  when  the  business  of  education  is 
over,  it  ceases  of  itself,  and  is  also  alienable 
before:  for  a  man  may  put  the  tuition  of  his 
son  in  other  hands ;  and  he  that  has  made  his 
son  an  apprentice  to  another,  has  discharged 
him,  during  that  time,  of  a  great  part  of  his 
obedience  both  to  himself  and  to  his  mother. 
But  all  the  duty  of  honour,  the  other  part, 
remains  nevertheless  entire  to  them ;  nothing- 
can  cancel  that :  it  is  so  inseparable  from  them 
both,  that  the  father's  authority  cannot  dis- 
possess the  mother  of  this  right,  nor  can  any 
man  discharge  his  son  from  honouring  her  that 
bore  him.  But  both  these  are  very  far  from  a 
power  to  make  laws,  and  inforcing  them  with 
penalties,  that  may  reach  estate,  liberty,  limbs 
and  life.  The  power  of  commanding  ends 
with  non-age;  and  though,  after  that,  honour 
and  respect,  support  and  defence,  and  what- 
soever gratitude  can  oblige  a  man  to,  for  the 
highest  benefits  he  is  naturally  capable  of,  be 
always  due  from  a  son  to  his  parents,;  yet  all 
this  puts  no  sceptre  into  the  father's  hand,  no 
sovereign  power  of  commanding.     He  has  no 


dominion  over  his  son's  property,  or  actions ; 
nor  any  right,  that  his  will  should  prescribe  to 
his  son's  in  all  things ;  however  it  may  become 
his  son  in  many  things,  not  very  inconvenient 
to  him  and  his  family,  to  pay  a  deference 
to  it. 

§.  70.  A  man  may  owe  honour  and  respect 
to  an  ancient,  or  wise  man;  defence  to  his 
child  or  friend  ;  relief  and  support  to  the  dis- 
tressed ;  and  gratitude  to  a  benefactor,  to 
such  a  degree,  that  all  he  has,  all  he  can  do, 
cannot  sufficiently  pay  it :  but  all  these  give 
no  authority,  no  right  to  any  one,  of  making 
laws  over  him  from  whom  they  are  owing. 
And  it  is  plain,  all  this  is  due  not  only  to  the 
bare  title  of  father ;  not  only  because,  as  has 
been  said,  it  is  owing  to  the  mother  too  ;  but 
because  these  obligations  to  parents,  and  de- 
grees of  what  is  required  of  children,  may  be 
varied  by  the  different  care  and  kindness, 
trouble  and  expence,  which  is  often  employed 
upon  one  child  more  than  another. 

§.71.  This  shews  the  reason  how  it  comes 
to  pass,  that  parents  in  societies,  where  they 
themselves  are  subjects,  retain  a  power  over 
their  children,  and  have  as  much  right  to  their 
subjection,  as  those  who  are  in  a  state  of 
nature.  Which  could  not  possibly  be,  if  all 
political  power  were  only  paternal,  and  that  in 
truth  they  were  one  and  the  same  thing :  for 
then,  all  paternal  power  being  in  the  prince, 
the  subject  could   naturally   have  none  of  it. 


But  these  two  powers,  political  and  paternal, 
are  so  perfectly  distinct  and  separate  ;  are  built 
upon  so  different  foundations,  and  given  to  so 
different  ends,  that  every  subject,  that  is  a 
father,  has  as  much  a  paternal  power  over  his 
children,  as  the  prince  has  over  his :  and  every 
prince,  that  has  parents,  owes  them  as  much 
filial  duty  and  obedience,  as  the  meanest  of 
his  subjects  do  theirs ;  and  can  therefore 
contain  not  any  part  or  degree  of  that  kind  of 
dominion,  which  a  prince  or  magistrate  has 
over  his  subject. 

§.  72.  Though  the  obligation  on  the  parents 
to  bring  up  their  children,  and  the  obligation 
on  children  to  honour  their  parents,  contain  all 
the  power  on  the  one  hand,  and  submission  on 
the  other,  which  are  proper  to  this  relation, 
yet  there  is  another  power  ordinarily  in  the 
father,  whereby  he  has  a  tie  on  the  obedience 
of  his  children ;  which  though  it  be  common 
to  him  with  other  men,  yet  the  occasions  of 
shewing  it,  almost  constantly  happening  to 
fathers  in  their  private  families,  and  the  in- 
stances of  it  elsewhere  being  rare,  and  less 
taken  notice  of,  it  passes  in  the  world  for  a 
part  of  paternal  jurisdiction.  And  this  is  the 
power  men  generally  have  to  bestow  their  es- 
tates on  those  who  please  them  best ;  the 
possession  of  the  father  being  the  expectation 
and  inheritance  of  the  children,  ordinarily  in 
certain  proportions,  according  to  the  law  and 
custom  of  each  country ;  yet  it  is  commonly 


in  the  father's  power  to  bestow  it  with  a  more 
sparing  or  liberal  hand,  according  as  the  be- 
haviour of  this  or  that  child  hath  comported 
with  his  will  and  humour. 

§.  73.  This  is  no  small  tie  on  the  obedience 
of  children  :  and  there  being  always  annexed 
to  the  enjoyment  of  land,  a  submission  to  the 
government  of  the  country,  of  which  that  land 
is  a  part;    it   has  been  commonly  supposed, 
that  a.  father  could  oblige  his  posterity  to  that 
government,  of  which  he  himself  was  a  subject, 
and  that  his   compact  held  them ;  whereas,  it 
being  only  a  necessary  condition  annexed  to 
the    land,  and    the    inheritance   of    an    estate 
which  is  under  that  government,  reaches  only 
those  who  will   take  it  on  that  condition,  and 
so  is  no  natural  tie  or  engagement,  but  a  volun- 
tary submission  :  for  every  mans  children  being 
by  nature  as  free  as  himself,  or  any  of  his  an- 
cestors ever  were,  may,  whilst  they  are  in  that 
freedom,    choose  what  society  they   will  join 
themselves  to,  what  commonwealth  they  will 
put  themselves  under.     But  if  they  will  enjoy 
the  inheritance  of  their   ancestors,  they  must 
take  it  on  the  same  terms  their  ancestors  had 
it,  and  submit  to  all  the  conditions  annexed  to 
such   a   possession.       By    this    power   indeed 
fathers   oblige  their  children  to   obedience  to 
themselves,  even  when  they  are  past  minority, 
and  most  commonly  too  subject  them  to  this 
or  that  political  power,  but  neither  of  these  by 
any  peculiar  right    of  fatherhood,  but  by  the 


reward  they  have  in  their  hands  to  inforce  and 
recompence  such  a  compliance;  and  is  no 
more  power  than  what  a  French  man  has  over 
an  English  man,  who,  by  the  hopes  of  an 
estate  he  will  leave  him,  will  certainly  have  a 
strong  tie  on  his  obedience :  and  if,  when  it  is 
left  him,  he  will  enjoy  it,  he  must  certainly 
take  it  upon  the  conditions  annexed  to  the 
possession  of  land  in  that  country  where  it  lies, 
whether  it  be  France  or  England. 

§.  74.  To  conclude  then,  though  the  father s 
power  of  commanding  extends  no  farther  than 
the  minority  of  his  children,  and  to  a  degree 
only  fit  for  the  discipline  and  government  of 
that  age ;  and  though  that  honour  and  respect, 
and  all  that  which  the  Latins  called  piety, 
which  they  indispensibly  owe  to  their  parents 
all  their  life  time,  and  in  all  estates,  with  all 
that  support  and  defence  is  due  to  them,  gives 
the  father  no  power  of  governing,  i.  e.  making- 
laws  and  enacting  penalties  on  his  children ; 
though  by  all  this  he  has  no  dominion  over  the 
property  or  actions  of  his  son  :  yet  it  is  obvious 
to  conceive  how  easy  it  was,  in  the  first  ages 
of  the  world,  and  in  places  still,  where  the 
thinness  of  people  gives  families  leave  to  se- 
parate into  unpossessed  quarters,  and  they 
have  room  to  remove  or  plant  themselves  in  yet 
vacant  habitations,  for  the  father  of  the  family 
to   become  the   prince  of  it  ;*  he  had  been  a 

*  It  is  no  improbable  opinion  therefore,  which  the  arch- 
philosopher  was  of,  that  the  chief  person  in  every  household 


ruler  from  the  beginning  of  the  infancy  of  his 
children :  and  since  without  some  government 
it  would  be  hard  for  them  to  live  together,  it 
was  likeliest  it  should,  by  the  express  or  tacit 
consent  of  the  children  when  they  were  grown 
up,  be  in  the  father,  where  it  seemed  without 
any  change  barely  to  continue ;  when  indeed 
nothing  more  was  required  to  it,  than  the  per- 
mitting the  father  to  exercise  alone,  in  his 
family,  that  executive  power  of  the  law  of  na- 
ture, which  every  free  man  naturally  hath,  and 
by  that  permission  resigning  up  to  him  a  mo- 
narchical power,  whilst  they  remained  in  it. 
But  that  this  was  not  by  any  paternal  right, 
but  only  by  the  consent  of  his  children,  is  evi- 
dent from  hence,  that  no  body  doubts,  but  if  a 
stranger,  whom  chance  or  business  had  brought 

was  always,  as  it  were,  a  king :  so  when  numbers  of  house- 
holds joined  themselves  in  civil  societies  together,  kings 
were  the  first  kind  of  governors  amongst  them,  which  is  also, 
as  it  seemeth,  the  reason  why  the  name  of  fathers  continued 
still  in  them,  who,  of  fathers,  were  made  rulers  ;  as  also  the 
ancient  custom  of  governors  to  do  as  Aldchisedec,  and  being 
kings,  to  exercise  the  office  of  priests,  which  fathers  did  at 
the  first,  grew  perhaps  by  the  same  occasion.  Howbeit,  this 
is  not  the  only  kind  of  regiment  that  has  been  received  in 
the  world.  The  inconveniences  of  one  kind  have  caused 
sundry  others  to  be  devised  ;  so  that  in  a  word,  all  public 
regiment,  of  what  kind  soever,  seemeth  evidently  to  have 
risen  from  the  deliberate  advice,  consultation  and  compo- 
sition between  men,  judging  it  convenient  and  behovcful ; 
there  being  no  impossibility  in  nature  considered  by  itself, 
but  that  man  might  have  lived  without  any  public  regiment. 
Hookers  Ecd.  P.  lib.  i.  Sect.  10. 


to  his  family,  had  there  killed  any  of  his  chil- 
dren, or  committed  any  other  fact,  he  might 
condemn  and  put  him  to  death,  or  otherwise 
have  punished  him,  as  well  as  any  of  his  chil- 
dren ;  which  it  was  impossible  he  should  do  by 
virtue  of  any  paternal  authority  over  one  who 
was  not  his  child,  but  by  virtue  of  that  execu- 
tive power  of  the  law  of  nature,  which,  as  a 
man,  he  had  a  right  to :  and  he  alone  could 
punish  him  in  his  family,  where  the  respect  of 
his  children  had  laid  by  the  exercise  of  such  a 
power,  to  give  way  to  the  dignity  and  authority 
they  were  willing  should  remain  in  him,  above 
the  rest  of  his  family. 

§.  75.  Thus  it  was  easy,  and  almost  natural 
for  children,  by  a  tacit,  and  scarce  avoidable 
consent,  to  make  way  for  the  father 's  authority 
and  government.  They  had  been  accustomed 
in  their  childhood  to  follow  his  direction,  and 
to  refer  their  little  differences  to  him ;  and 
when  they  were  men,  who  fitter  to  rule  them? 
Their  little  properties,  and  less  covetousness, 
seldom  afforded  greater  controversies ;  and 
when  any  should  arise,  where  could  they  have 
a  fitter  umpire  than  he,  by  whose  care  they  had 
every  one  been  sustained  and  brought  up,  and 
who  had  a  tenderness  for  them  all?  It  is  no 
wonder  that  they  made  no  distinction  betwixt 
minority  and  full  age ;  nor  looked  after  one-and- 
twenty,  or  any  other  age  that  might  make  them 
the  free  disposers  of  themselves  and  fortunes, 
when  thev  could  have  no  desire  to  be  out  of 


their  pupilage :  the  government  they  had  been 
under,  during  it,  continued  still  to  be  more 
their  protection  than  restraint;  and  they  could 
no  where  find  a  greater  security  to  their  peace, 
liberties,  and  fortunes,  than  in  the  rule  of  a 

§.  76.  Thus  the  natural  fathers  of  families, 
by  an  insensible  change,  became  the  politic 
monarchs  of  them  too :  and  as  they  chanced 
to  live  long,  and  leave  able  and  worthy  heirs, 
for  several  successions,  or  otherwise ;  so  they 
laid  the  foundations  of  hereditary,  or  elective 
kingdoms,  under  several  constitutions  and  man- 
ners, according  as  chance,  contrivance,  or  oc- 
casions happened  to  mould  them.  But  if 
princes  have  their  titles  in  their  fathers  right, 
and  it  be  a  sufficient  proof  of  the  natural  right 
of  fathers  to  political  authority,  because  they 
commonly  were  those  in  whose  hands  we  find, 
de  facto,  the  exercise  of  government :  I  say,  if 
this  argument  be  good,  it  will  as  strongly  prove, 
that  all  princes,  nay  princes  only,  ought  to  be 
priests,  since  it  is  as  certain,  that  in  the  begin- 
ning, the  father  of  the  family  was  priest,  as  that 
he  teas  ruler  in  his  own  household. 


Of  Political  or  Civil  Society. 

§.  77.  God  having   made  man  such  a   crea- 
ture, that  in  his   own  judgement,  it   was   not 


good  for  him  to  be  alone,  put  him  under  strong 
obligations  of  necessity,  convenience,  and  incli- 
nation to  drive  him  into  society,  as  well  as  fitted 
him  with  understanding  and  language  to  con- 
tinue and  enjoy  it.  The  first  society  was 
between  man  and  wife,  which  gave  beginning 
to  that  between  parents  and  children  ;  to  which, 
in  time,  that  between  master  and  servant  came 
to  be  added :  and  though  all  these  might,  and 
commonly  did  meet  together,  and  make  up  but 
one  family,  wherein  the  master  or  mistress  of 
it  had  some  sort  of  rule  proper  to  a  family ; 
each  of  these,  or  all  together,  came  short  of 
political  society,  as  we  shall  see,  if  we  consider 
the  different  ends,  ties,  and  bounds  of  each  of 

§.  78.  Conjugal  society  is  made  by  a  volun- 
tary compact  between  man  and  woman :  and 
though  it  consist  chiefly  in  such  a  communion 
and  right  in  one  another's  bodies  as  is  necessary 
to  its  chief  end,  procreation  ;  yet  it  draws  with 
it  mutual  support  and  assistance,  and  a  com- 
munion of  interests  too,  as  necessary  not  only 
to  unite  their  care  and  affection,  but  also  neces- 
sary to  their  common  offspring,  who  have  a 
right  to  be  nourished,  and  maintained  by  them 
till  they  are  able  to  provide  for  themselves. 

§.  79.  For  the  end  of  conjunction  between 
male  and  female,  being  not  barely  procreation, 
but  the  continuation  of  the  species  ;  this  con- 
junction betwixt  male  and  female  ought  to  last, 
even  after  procreation,  so  long  as  is  necessary 


to  the  nourishment  and  support  of  the  young 
ones,  who  are  to  be  sustained  by  those  that  got 
them,  till  they  are  able  to  shift  and  provide  for 
themselves.  This  rule,  which  the  infinite  wise 
maker  hath  set  to  the  works  of  his  hands,  we 
find  the  inferior  creatures  steadily  obey.  In 
those  viviparous  animals  which  feed  on  grass, 
the  conjunction  betiveen  male  and  female  lasts  no 
longer  than  the  very  act  of  copulation  :  because 
the  teat  of  the  dam  being  sufficient  to  nourish 
the  young,  till  it  be  able  to  feed  on  grass,  the 
male  only  begets,  but  concerns  not  himself  for 
the  female  or  young,  to  whose  sustenance 
he  can  contribute  nothing.  But  in  beasts  of 
prey  the  conjunction  lasts  longer :  because  the 
dam  not  being  able  well  to  subsist  herself,  and 
nourish  her  numerous  off-spring  by  her  own 
prey  alone,  a  more  laborious,  as  well  as  more 
dangerous  way  of  living,  than  by  feeding  on 
grass,  the  assistance  of  the  male  is  necessary 
to  the  maintenance  of  their  common  family, 
which  cannot  subsist  till  they  are  able  to  prey 
for  themselves,  but  by  the  joint  care  of  male 
and  female.  The  same  is  to  be  observed  in  all 
birds,  (except  some  domestic  ones,  where 
plenty  of  food  excuses  the  cock  from  feeding, 
and  taking  care  of  the  young  brood)  whose 
young  needing  food  in  the  nest,  the  cock  and 
hen  continue  mates,  till  the  young  are  able  to 
use  their  wing,  and  provide  for  themselves. 

§.  80.  And  herein  I  think  lies  the  chief,  if  not 
the  only  reason,  why  the  male  and  female  in 


mankind  are  tied  to  a  longer  conjunction  than 
other  creatures,  viz.  because  the  female  is  capa- 
ble of  conceiving,  and  de  facto  is  commonly  with 
child  again,  and  brings  forth  to  a  new  birth, 
long  before  the  former  is  out  of  a  dependency 
for  support  on  his  parents  help,  and  able  to  shift 
for  himself,  and  has  all  the  assistance  that  is 
due  to  him  from  his  parents :  whereby  the  father, 
who  is  bound  to  take  care  for  those  he  hath 
begot,  is  under  an  obligation  to  continue  in 
conjugal  society  with  the  same  woman  longer 
than  other  creatures,  whose  young  being  able 
to  subsist  of  themselves,  before  the  time  of 
procreation  returns  again,  the  conjugal  bond 
dissolves  of  itself,  and  they  are  at  liberty,  till 
Hymen  at  his  usual  anniversary  season  sum- 
mons them  again  to  choose  new  mates.  Wherein 
one  cannot  but  admire  the  wisdom  of  the  great 
Creator,  who  having  given  to  man  foresight, 
and  an  ability  to  lay  up  for  the  future,  as  well 
as  to  supply  the  present  necessity,  hath  made 
it  necessary,  that  society  of  man  and  wife  should 
be  more  lasting,  than  of  male  and  female 
among  other  creatures ;  that  so  their  industry 
might  be  encouraged,  and  their  interest  better 
united,  to  make  provision  and  lay  up  goods  for 
their  common  issue,  with  uncertain  mixture,  or 
easy  and  frequent  solutions  of  conjugal  society 
would  mightily  disturb. 

§.  81.  But  though  these  are  ties  upon  man- 
kind, which  make  the  conjugal  bonds  more  firm 
ami  lasting  in  man,  than  the  other  species  of 


animals ;  yet  it  would  give  one  reason  to  en- 
quire, why  this  compact,  where  procreation  and 
education  are  secured,  and  inheritance  taken 
care  for,  may  not  be  made  determinable,  either 
by  consent,  or  at  a  certain  time,  or  upon  cer- 
tain conditions,  as  well  as  any  other  voluntary 
compacts,  there  being  no  necessity  in  the  na- 
ture of  the  thing,  nor  to  the  ends  of  it,  that  it 
should  always  be  for  life;  I  mean,  to  such  as 
are  under  no  restraint  of  any  positive  law, 
which  ordains  all  such  contracts  to  be  perpe- 

§.  82.  But  the  husband  and  wife,  though 
they  have  but  one  common  concern,  yet  having 
different  understandings,  will  unavoidably 
sometimes  have  different  wills  too ;  it  therefore 
being  necessary  that  the  last  determination, 
t.  e.  the  rule,  should  be  placed  somewhere ;  it 
naturally  falls  to  the  man's  share,  as  the  abler 
and  the  stronger.  But  this  reaching  but  to  the 
things  of  their  common  interest  and  property, 
leaves  the  wife  in  the  full  and  free  possession 
of  what  by  contract  is  her  peculiar  right,  and 
gives  the  husband  no  more  power  over  her  life 
than  she  has  over  his;  the  power  of  the  husband 
being  so  far  from  that  of  an  absolute  monarch, 
that  the  wife  has  in  many  cases  a  liberty  to 
separate  from  him,  where  natural  right,  or  their 
contract  allows  it :  whether  that  contract  be 
made  by  themselves  in  the  state  of  nature,  or  by 
the  customs  or  laws  of  the  country  they  live  in; 
and  the  children  upon  such  separation  fall  to 


the  father  or  mother's  lot,  as  such  contract  does 

§.  83.  For  all  the  ends  of  marriage  being 
to  be  obtained  under  politic  government,  as 
well  as  in  the  state  of  nature,  the  civil  magis- 
trate doth  not  abridge  the  right  or  power  of 
either  naturally  necessary  to  those  ends,  viz. 
procreation  and  mutual  support  and  assistance 
whilst  they  are  together ;  but  only  decides  any 
controversy  that  may  arise  between  man  and 
wife  about  them.  If  it  were  otherwise,  and 
that  absolute  sovereignty  and  power  of  life  and 
death  naturally  belonged  to  the  husband,  and 
were  necessary  to  the  society  between  man  and 
wife,  there  could  be  no  matrimony  in  any  of 
those  countries  where  the  husband  is  allowed 
no  such  absolute  authority.  But  the  ends  of 
matrimony  requiring  no  such  power  in  the 
husband,  the  condition  of  conjugal  society  put 
it  not  in  him,  it  being  not  at  all  necessary  to 
that  state.  Conjugal  society  could  subsist  and 
attain  its  ends  without  it;  nay,  community 
of  goods,  and  the  power  over  them,  mutual 
assistance  and  maintenance,  and  other  things 
belonging  to  conjugal  society,  might  be  varied 
and  regulated  by  that  contract  which  unites 
man  and  wife  in  that  society,  as  far  as  may 
consist  with  procreation  and  the  bringing  up  of 
children  till  they  could  shift  for  themselves; 
nothing  being  necessary  to  any  society,  that  is 
not  necessary  to  the  ends  for  which  it  is  made. 

§.  84.  The  society  betwixt  parents  and  chil- 


dren,  and  the  distinct  rights  and  powers  be- 
longing respectively  to  them,  I  have  treated  of 
so  largely  in  the  foregoing  chapter,  that  I  shall 
not  here  need  to  say  any  thing  of  it.  And  I 
think  it  is  plain,  that  it  is  far  different  from  a 
politic  society. 

§.  85.  Master  and  servant  are  names  as  old 
as  history,  but  given  to  those  of  far  different 
condition;  for  a  freeman  makes  himself  a 
servant  to  another,  by  selling  him,  for  a  certain 
time,  the  service  he  undertakes  to  do,  in  ex- 
change for  wages  he  is  to  receive :  and  though 
this  commonly  puts  him  into  the  family  of  his 
master,  and  under  the  ordinary  discipline 
thereof;  yet  it  gives  the  master  but  a  temporary 
power  over  him,  and  no  greater  than  what  is 
contained  in  the  contract  between  them.  But 
there  is  another  sort  of  servants,  which  by  a 
peculiar  name  we  call  slaves,  who,  being  cap- 
tives taken  in  a  just  war,  are  by  the  right  of 
nature  subjected  to  the  absolute  dominion  and 
arbitrary  power  of  their  masters.  These  men 
having,  as  I  say,  forfeited  their  lives,  and  with 
it  their  liberties,  and  lost  their  estates  ;  and 
being  in  the  state  of  slavery,  not  capable  of  any 
property,  cannot  in  that  state  be  considered  as 
any  part  of  civil  society ;  the  chief  end  whereof 
is  the  preservation  of  property. 

§.  86.  Let  us  therefore  consider  a  master  of 
a  family  with  all  these  subordinate  relations  of 
ivife,  children,  servants,  and 'slaves,  united  under 
the  domestic  rule  of  a  family;  which,  what  re- 


semblance  soever  it  may  have  in  its  order, 
offices,  and  number  too,  with  a  little  common- 
wealth, yet  is  very  far  from  it,  both  in  its  consti- 
tution, power  and  end  :  or  if  it  must  be  thought 
a  monarchy,  and  the  paterfamilias  the  absolute 
monarch  in  it,  absolute  monarchy  will  have  but 
a  very  shattered  and  short  power,  when  it  is 
plain,  by  what  has  been  said  before,  that  the 
master  of  the  family  has  a  very  distinct  and. 
differently  limited  power,  both  as  to  time  and 
extent,  over  those  several  persons  that  are  in  it ; 
for  excepting  the  slave  (and  the  family  is  as 
much  a  family,  and  his  power  as  paterfamilias 
as  great,  whether  there  be  any  slaves  in  his 
family  or  no)  he  has  no  legislative  power  of 
life  and  death  over  any  of  them,  and  none  too 
but  what  &  mistress  of  a  family  may  have  as  well 
as  he.  And  he  certainly  can  have  no  absolute 
power  over  the  whole  family,  who  has  but  a 
very  limited  one  over  every  individual  in  it. 
But  how  a  family,  or  any  other  society  of  men, 
differ  from  that  which  is  properly  political 
society,  we  shall  best  see,  by  considering  wherein 
political  society  itself  consists. 

§.  87.  Man  being  born,  as  has  been  proved, 
with  a  title  to  perfect  freedom,  and  an  uncon- 
trouled  enjoyment  of  all  the  rights  and  privi- 
leges of  the  law  of  nature,  equally  with  any 
other  man,  or  number  of  men  in  the  world,  hath 
by  nature  a  power,  not  only  to  preserve  his 
property,  that  is,  his  life,  liberty  and  estate, 
against  the  injuries  and  attempts  of  other  men : 

s  2 


but  to  judge  of,  and  punish  the  breaches  of  that 
law  in  others,  as  he  is  persuaded  the  offence 
deserves,  even  with  death  itself,  in  crimes 
where  the  heinousness  of  the  fact,  in  his  opinion, 
requires  it.  But  because  no  political  society 
can  be,  nor  subsist,  without  having  in  itself  the 
power  to  preserve  the  property,  and  in  order 
thereunto,  punish  the  offences  of  all  those  of 
that  society :  there,  and  there  only  is  political 
society,  where  every  one  of  the  members  hath 
quitted  this  natural  power,  resigned  it  up  into 
the  hands  of  the  community  in  all  cases  that 
exclude  him  not  from  appealing  for  protection 
to  the  law  established  by  it.  And  thus  all 
private  judgment  of  every  particular  member 
being  excluded,  the  community  comes  to  be 
umpire,  by  settled  standing  rules,  indifferent, 
and  the  same  to  all  parties ;  and  by  men 
having  authority  from  the  community,  for  the 
execution  of  those  rules,  decides  all  the  differ- 
ences that  may  happen  between  any  members 
of  that  society  concerning  any  matter  of  right ; 
and  punishes  those  offences  which  any  member 
hath  committed  against  the  society,  with  such 
penalties  as  the  law  hag  established  :  whereby 
it  is  easy  to  discern,  who  are,  and  who  are  not, 
in  political  society  together.  Those  who  are 
united  into  one  body,  and  have  a  common 
established  law  and  judicature  to  appeal  to, 
with  authority  to  decide  controversies  between 
them,  and  punish  offenders,  are  in  civil  society 
one   with  another  :  but  those  who  have  no  such 


common  people,  I  mean  on  earth,  are  still  in  the 
state  of  nature,  each  being,  where  there  is  no 
other,  judge  for  himself,  and  executioner; 
which  is,  as  I  have  before  shewed  it,  the  perfect 
stale  of  nature. 

§.  88.  And  thus  the  commonwealth  comes  by 
a  power  to  set  down  what  punishment  shall 
belong  to  the  several  transgressions  which  they 
think  worthy  of  it,  committed  amongst  the 
members  of  that  society,  (which  is  the  power 
of  making  laws)  as  well  as  it  has  the  power  to 
punish  any  injury  done  unto  any  of  its  mem- 
bers, by  any  one  that  is  not  of  it,  (which  is  the 
power  of  war  and  peace;)  and  all  this  for  the 
preservation  of  the  property  of  all  the  members 
of  that  society,  as  far  as  is  possible.  But 
though  every  man  who  has  entered  into  civil 
society,  and  is  become  a  member  of  any  com- 
monwealth, has  thereby  quitted  his  power  to 
punish  offences,  against  the  law  of  nature,  in 
prosecution  of  his  own  private  judgment,  yet 
with  the  judgment  of  offences,  which  he  has 
given  up  to  the  legislative  in  all  cases,  where 
he  can  appeal  to  the  magistrate,  he  has  given  a 
right  to  the  commonwealth  to  employ  his 
force,  for  the  execution  of  the  judgments  of  the 
commonwealth,  whenever  he  shall  be  called 
to  it;  wrhich  indeed  are  his  own  judgments, 
they  being  made  by  himself,  or  his  representa- 
tative.  And  herein  we  have  the  original  of  the 
legislative  and  executive  power  of  civil  society, 
which  is  to  judge  by  standing  laws,  how  far 


offences  are  to  be  punished,  when  committed 
within  the  commonwealth  ;  and  also  to  deter- 
mine, by  occasional  judgments  founded  on  the 
present  circumstances  of  the  fact,  how  far 
injuries  from  without  are  to  be  vindicated  ;  and 
in  both  these  to  employ  all  the  force  of  all  the 
members,  when  there  shall  be  no  need. 

§.  89.  Wherever  therefore  any  number  of 
men  are  so  united  into  one  society,  as  to  quit 
every  one  his  executive  power  of  the  law  of 
nature,  and  to  resign  it  to  the  public,  there  and 
there  only  is  a  political,  or  civil  society.  And 
this  is  done,  wherever  any  number  of  men,  in 
the  state  of  nature,  enter  into  society  to  make 
one  people,  one  body  politic,  under  one  su- 
preme government ;  or  else  when  any  one  joins 
himself  to,  and  incorporates  with  any  govern- 
ment already  made:  for  hereby  he  authorizes 
the  society,  or  which  is  all  one,  the  legislative 
thereof,  to  make  laws  for  him,  as  the  public 
good  of  the  society  shall  require  :  to  the  exe- 
cution whereof,  his  own  assistance  (as  to  his 
own  decrees)  is  due.  And  this  puts  men  out 
of  a  state  of  nature  into  that  of  a  common- 
2vealth,  by  setting  up  a  judge  on  earth,  with 
authority  to  determine  all  the  controversies, 
and  redress  the  injuries  that  may  happen  to 
any  member  of  the  commonwealth  ;  which 
judge  is  the  legislative,  or  magistrates  appointed 
by  it.  And  wherever  there  are  any  number  of 
men,  however  associated,  that  have  no  such 
decisive  power  to  appeal  to,  there  they  are  still 
in  the  state  of  nature. 


§.  DO.  Hence  it  is  evident,  that  absolute  mo- 
narchy, which  by  some  men  is  counted  the  only 
government  in  the  world,  is  indeed  inconsis- 
tent with  civil  society,  and  so  can  be  no  form  of 
civil  government  at  all :  for  the  end  of  civil 
society,  being  to  avoid,  and  remedy  those  incon- 
veniencies  of  the  state  of  nature,  which  neces- 
sarily follow  from  every  man's  being  judge  in 
his  own  case,  by  setting  up  a  known  authority, 
to  which  every  one  of  that  society  may  appeal 
upon  any  injury  received,  or  controversy  that 
may  arise,  and  which  every  one  of  the*  society 
ought  to  obey ;  wherever  any  persons  are, 
who  have  not  such  an  authority  to  appeal  to, 
for  the  decision  of  any  difference  between  them, 
there  those  persons  are  still  in  the  stale  of 
nature;  and  so  is  every  absolute  prince,  in 
respect  of  those  who  are  under  his  dominion. 

§.  91.  For  he  being  supposed  to  have  all, 
both  legislative  and  executive  power  in  himself 
alone,  there  is  no  judge  to  be  found,  no  appeal 
lies  open  to  any  one,  who  may  fairly,  and  indif- 
ferently, and  with  authority  decide,  and  from 
whose  decision  relief  and  redress  may  be  ex- 
pected   of  any  injury   or  inconveniency,   that 

*  The  public  power  of  all  society  is  above  every  soul  con- 
tained in  the  same  society ;  and  the  principal  use  of  that 
power  is,  to  give  laws  unto  all  that  are  under  it,  which  laws 
in  such  cases  we  must  obey,  unless  there  be  reason  shewed 
which  may  necessarily  inforce,  that  the  law  of  reason,  or 
of  God,  doth  enjoin  the  contrary,  Hookers.  Eccl.  Pol.  I.  i, 
sect.  10. 


may  be  suffered  from  the  prince,  or  by  his 
order:  so  that  such  a  man,  however  intitled, 
Czar,  Grand  Seignor,  or  how  you  please,  is  as 
much  in  the  state  of  nature,  with  all  under  his 
dominion,  as  he  is  with  the  rest  of  mankind : 
for  wherever  any  two  men  are,  who  have  no 
standing  rule,  and  common  judge  to  appeal  to  on 
earth,  for  the  determination  of  controversies  of 
right  betwixt  them,  there  they  are  still  in  the 
state  of  nature,  *  and  under  all  the  inconveni- 
encies  of  it,  with  only  this  woeful  difference  to 
the  subject,  or  rather  slave  of  an  absolute 
prince :  that  whereas,  in  the  ordinary  state  of 

*  To  take  away  all  such  mutual  grievances,  injuries  and 
wrongs,  i.  e.  such  as  attend  men  in  the  state  of  nature,  there 
was  no  way  hut  only  by  growing  into  composition  and  agree- 
ment amongst  themselves,  by  ordaining  some  kind  of  govern- 
ment public,  and  by  yielding  themselves  subject  thereunto, 
that  unto  whom  they  granted  authority  to  rule  and  govern, 
by  them  the  peace,  tranquillity,  and  happy  estate  of  the  rest 
might  be  procured.  Men  always  knew  that  where  force  and 
injury  was  offered,  they  might  be  defenders  of  themselves  ; 
they  knew  that  howevermen  may  seek  theirown  commodity, 
yet  if  this  were  done  with  injury  unto  others,  it  was  not  to 
be  suffered,  but  by  all  men,  and  all  good  means  to  be  with- 
stood. Finally,  they  knew  that  no  man  might  in  reason  take 
upon  him  to  determine  his  own  right,  and  according  to  his 
own  determination  proceed  in  maintenance  thereof,  in  as 
much  as  every  man  is  towards  himself,  and  them  whom  he 
greatly  affects  partial ;  and  therefore  that  strifes  and  trou- 
bles would  be  endless,  except  they  gave  their  common  con- 
sent, all  to  be  ordered  by  some,  whom  they  should  agree 
upon,  without  which  consent  there  would  be  no  reason  that 
one  man  should  take  upon  him  to  be  lord  or  judge  over  an 
other,  Hooker's  Eccl.  Pol.  I.  i.  sect.  10. 


nature,  he  has  a  liberty  to  judge  of  his  right, 
and  according  to  the  best  of  his  power,  to  main- 
tain it;  now,  whenever  his  property  is  invaded 
by  the  will  and  order  of  his  monarch,  he  has 
not  only  to  appeal,  as  those  in  society  ought  to 
have,  but  as  if  he  were  degraded  from  the  com- 
mon state  of  rational  creatures,  is  denied  a 
liberty  to  judge  of,  or  to  defend  his  right;  and 
so  is  exposed  to  all  the  misery  and  inconve- 
niencies,  that  a  man  can  fear  from  one,  who 
being  in  the  unrestrained  state  of  nature,  is 
yet  corrupted  with  flattery,  and  armed  with 

§.  92.  For  he  that  thinks  absolute  power  pu- 
rifies mens  blood,  and  corrects  the  baseness  of 
human  nature,  need  read  but  the  history  of 
this,  or  any  other  age,  to  be  convinced  of  the 
contrary.  He  that  would  have  been  insolent 
and  injurious  in  the  woods  of  America,  would 
not  probably  be  much  better  in  a  throne ; 
where  perhaps  learning  and  religion  shall  be 
found  out  to  justify  all  that  he  shall  do  to  his 
subjects,  and  the  sword  presently  silence  all 
those  that  dare  question  it:  for  what  the  pro- 
lection  of  absolute  monarchy  is,  what  kind  of 
fathers  of  their  countries  it  makes  princes  to 
be,  and  to  what  a  degree  of  happiness  and 
security  it  carries  civil  society,  where  this  sort 
of  government  is  grown  to  perfection,  he,  that 
will  look  into  the  late  relation  of  Ceylon,  may 
easily  see. 

§.  93.  In  absolute  monarchies  indeed,  as  well 


as  other  governments  of  the  world,  the  sub- 
jects have  an  appeal  to  the  law,  and  judges 
to  decide  any  controversies,  and  restrain  any 
violence  that  may  happen  betwixt  the  subjects 
themselves,  one  amongst  another.  This  every 
one  thinks  necessary,  and  believes  he  deserves 
to  be  thought  a  declared  enemy  to  society  and 
mankind,  who  should  go  about  to  take  it 
away.  But  whether  this  be  from  a  true  love  of 
mankind  and  society,  and  such  a  charity  as  we 
owe  all  one  to  another,  there  is  reason  to  doubt : 
for  this  is  no  more  than  what  every  man,  who 
loves  his  own  power,  profit,  or  greatness,  may, 
and  naturally  must  do,  keep  those  animals  from 
hurting,  or  destroying  one  another,  who  labour 
and  drudge  only  for  his  pleasure  and  advan- 
tage ;  and  so  are  taken  care  of,  not  out  of  any 
love  the  master  has  for  them,  but  love  of  him- 
self, and  the  profit  they  bring  him  :  for  if  it  be 
asked,  what  security,  ivhat  fence  is  there,  in 
such  a  state,  against  the  violence  and  oppression 
of  this  absolute  ruler?  the  very  question  can 
scarce  be  borne.  They  are  ready  to  tell  you, 
that  it  deserves  death  only  to  ask  after  safety. 
Betwixt  subject  and  subject,  they  will  grant, 
there  must  be  measures,  laws  and  judges,  for 
their  mutual  peace  and  security :  but  as  for  the 
ruler,  he  ought  to  be  absolute,  and  is  above  all 
such  circumstances  ;  because  he  has  power  to 
do  more  hurt  and  wrong,  it  is  right  when  he 
does  it.  To  ask  how  you  may  be  guarded 
from  harm,  or  injury,  on  that   side  where  the 


strongest  hand  is  to  do  it,  is  presently  the 
voice  of  faction  and  rebellion  :  as  if  when  men 
quitting  the  state  of  nature  entered  into  society, 
they  agreed  that  all  of  them  but  one  should  be 
under  the  restraint  of  laws,  but  that  he  should 
still  retain  all  the  liberty  of  the  state  of  nature, 
increased  with  power,  and  made  licentious  by 
impunity.  This  is  to  think,  that  men  are  so 
foolish,  that  they  take  care  to  avoid  what  mis- 
chiefs may  be  done  them  by  pole-cats,  or  foxes; 
but  are  content,  nay,  think  it  safety,  to  be 
devoured  by  lions. 

§.  94.  But  whatever  flatterers  may  talk  to 
amuse  people's  understandings,  it  hinders  not 
men  from  feeling ;  and  when  they  perceive, 
that  any  man,  in  what  station  soever,  is  out  of 
the  bounds  of  the  civil  society  which  they  are 
of,  and  that  they  have  no  appeal  on  earth 
against  any  harm,  they  may  receive  from  him, 
they  are  apt  to  think  themselves  in  the  state  of 
nature,  in  respect  of  him  whom  they  find  to 
be  so ;  and  to  take  care,  as  soon  as  they  can, 
to  have  that  safety  and  security  in  civil  society, 
for  which  it  was  first  instituted,  and  for  which 
only  they  entered  into  it.  And  therefore, 
though  perhaps  at  first,  (as  shall  be  shewed 
more  at  large  hereafter  in  the  following  part  of 
this  discourse,)  some  one  good  and  excellent 
man  having  got  a  pre-eminency  amongst  the 
rest,  had  this  deference  paid  to  his  goodness 
and  virtue,  as  to  a  kind  of  natural  authority, 
that  the  chief  rule,  with  arbitration  of  their  dif- 


ferences,  by  a  tacit  consent  devolved  into  his, 
without  any  other  caution,  but  the  assurance 
they  had  of  his  uprightness  and  wisdom ;  yet 
when  time,  giving  authority,  and  (as  some  men 
would  persuade  us)  sacredness  of  customs, 
which  the  negligent,  and  unforeseeing  inno- 
cence of  the  first  ages  began,  had  brought  in 
successors  of  another  stamp,  the  people  finding 
their  properties  not  secure  under  the  govern- 
ment, as  it  then  was,  (whereas  government  has 
no  other  end  but  the  preservation  of  property*) 
could  never  be  safe  nor  at  rest,  nor  think  them- 
selves in  civil  society,  till  the  legislature  was 
placed  in  collective  bodies  of  men,  call  them 
senate,  parliament,  or  what  you  please.  By 
which  means  every  single  person  became  sub- 
ject, equally  with  other  the  meanest  men,  to 
those  laws,  which  lie  himself,  as  part  of  the 
legislative,  had  established  ;  nor  could  any  one, 
by  his  own  authority,  avoid  the  force  of  the 
law,  when  once  made  ;  nor  by  any  pretence  of 

*  At  the  first,  when  some  certain  kind  of  regiment  was 
once  appointed,  it  may  be  that  nothing  was  then  farther 
thought  upon  for  the  manner  of  governing,  but  all  permitted 
unto  their  wisdom  and  discretion,  which  were  to  rule,  till  by 
experience  they  found  this  for  all  parts  very  inconvenient,  so 
as  the  thing  which  they  had  devised  for  a  remedy  did  indeed 
but  increase  the  sore,  which  it  would  have  cured.  They  saw, 
that  to  lice  by  one  mans  will,  became  the  cause  of  all  mens 
misery.  This  constrained  them  to  come  unto  laws,  wherein 
all  men  might  see  their  duty  beforehand,  and  know  the 
penalties  of  transgressing  them.  Hooker's  Eccl.  Pol.  I.  i. 
sect. 10. 



superiority  plead  exemption,  thereby  to  license 
his  own,  or  the  miscarriages  of  any  of  his  de- 
pendents. No  man  in  civil  society  can  be  ex- 
empted from  the  laws  of  it:*  for  if  any  man 
may  do  what  he  thinks  fit,  and  there  be  no 
appeal  on  earth,  for  redress  or  security  against 
any  harm  he  shall  do ;  I  ask,  whether  he  be 
not  perfectly  still  in  the  state  of  nature,  and  so 
can  be  no  part  or  member  of  that  civil  society ; 
unless  any  one  will  say,  the  state  of  nature  and 
civil  society  are  one  and  the  same  thing,  which 
I  have  never  yet  found  any  one  so  great  a 
patron  of  anarchy  as  to  affirm. 


Of  the  Beginning  oj  Political  Societies. 

§.  95.  Men  being,  as  has  been  said,  by  na- 
ture, all  free,  equal,  and  independent,  no  one 
can  be  put  out  of  this  estate,  and  subjected  to 
the  political  power  of  another,  without  his  own 
consent.  The  only  way  whereby  any  one  di- 
vests himself  of  his  natural  liberty,  and  puts 
on  the  bonds  of  civil  society,  is  by  agreeing 
with  other  men  to  join  and  unite  into  a  com- 
munity, for  their  comfortable,  safe  and  peace- 
able living  one  amongst  another,  in  a  secure 
enjoyment  of  their  properties,    and  a  greater 

*  Civil  law  being  the  act  of  the  whole  body  politic,  doth 
therefore  over-rule  each  several  part  of  the  same  body. 
Hooker  s,  Eccl.  Pol.  I.  i.  sect.  10. 


security  against  any,  that  are  not  of  it.  This? 
any  number  of  men  may  do,  because  it  injures 
not  the  freedom  of  the  rest ;  they  are  left  as 
they  were  in  the  liberty  of  the  state  of  nature. 
When  any  number  of  men  have  so  consented  to 
make  one  community  or  government,  they  are 
thereby  presently  incorporated,  and  make  one 
body  politic,  wherein  the  majority  have  a  right 
to  act  and  conclude  the  rest. 

§.  96.  For  when  any  number  of  men  have, 
by  the  consent  of  every  individual,  made  a 
community,  they  have  thereby  made  that  com- 
munity one  body,  with  a  power  to  act  as  one 
body,  which  is  only  by  the  will  and  determi- 
nation of  the  majority:  for  that  which  acts 
any  community,  being  only  the  consent  of  the 
individuals  of  it,  and  it  being  necessary  to 
that  which  is  one  body  to  move  one  way ;  it  is 
necessary  the  body  should  move  that  way 
whither  the  greater  force  carries  it,  which  is  the 
consent  of  the  majority :  or  else  it  is  impossible 
it  should  act  or  continue  one  body,  one  com- 
munity, which  the  consent  of  every  individual 
that  united  into  it,  agreed  that  it  should ;  and 
so  every  one  is  bound  by  that  consent  to  be 
concluded  by  the  majority.  And  therefore 
we  see,  that  in  assemblies,  impowered  to  act 
by  positive  laws,  where  no  number  is  set  by 
that  positive  law  which  impowers  them,  the 
act  of  the  majority  passes  for  the  act  of  the 
whole,  and  of  course  determines,  as  having 
by  the  law  of  nature  and  reason,  the  power  of 
the  whole. 


<§.  97.  And  thus  every  man,  by  consenting 
with  others  to  make  one  body  politic  under 
one  government,  puts  himself  under  an  obli- 
gation to  every  one  of  that  society,  to  submit 
to  the  determination  of  the  majority,  and  to  be 
concluded  by  it;  or  else  this  original  compact, 
whereby  he  with  others  incorporates  into  one 
society,  would  signify  nothing,  and  be  no  com- 
pact, if  he  be  left  free,  and  under  no  other  ties 
than  he  was  in  before  in  the  state  of  nature. 
For  what  appearance  would  there  be  of  any 
compact?  what  new  engagement  if  he  were  no 
farther  tied  by  any  decrees  of  the  society,  than 
he  himself  thought  fit,  and  did  actually  con- 
sent to  ?  This  would  be  still  as  great  a  liberty, 
as  he  himself  had  before  his  compact,  or  any 
one  else  in  the  state  of  nature  hath,  who  may 
submit  himself,  and  consent  to  any  acts  of  it  if 
he  thinks  fit. 

§.  98.  For  if  the  consent  of  the  majority  shall 
not,  in  reason,  be  received  as  the  act  of  the 
whole,  and  conclude  every  individual ;  nothing 
but  the  consent  of  every  individual  can  make 
any  thing  to  be  the  act  of  the  whole :  but  such 
a  consent  is  next  to  impossible  ever  to  be  had, 
if  we  consider  the  infirmities  of  health,  and 
avocations  of  business,  which  in  a  number, 
though  much  less  than  that  of  a  common- 
wealth, will  necessarily  keep  many  away  from 
the  public  assembly.  To  which  if  we  add  the 
variety  of  opinions,  and  contrariety  of  interests, 
which   unavoidably  happen  in  all    collections 


of  men,  the  coming  into  society  upon  such  terms 
would  be  only  like  Cato's  coming  into  the  thea- 
tre, only  to  go  out  again.  Such  a  constitution  as 
this  would  make  the  mighty  Leviathan  of  a 
shorter  duration,  than  the  feeblest  creatures, 
and  not  let  it  outlast  the  day  it  was  born  in: 
which  cannot  be  supposed,  till  we  can  think, 
that  rational  creatures  should  desire  and  con- 
stitute societies  only  to  be  dissolved :  for 
where  the  majority  cannot  conclude  the  rest, 
there  they  cannot  act  as  one  body,  and  conse- 
quently will  be  immediately  dissolved  again. 

§.  99.  Whosoever  therefore  out  of  a  state  of 
nature  unite  into  a  community,  must  be  under- 
stood to  give  up  all  the  power,  necessary  to  the 
ends  for  which  they  unite  into  society,  to  the 
majority  of  the  community,  unless  they  ex- 
pressly agreed  in  any  number  greater  than  the 
majority.  And  this  is  done  by  barely  agreeing 
to  unite  into  one  political  society,  which  is  all 
the  compact  that  is,  or  needs  be,  between  the 
individuals,  that  enter  into,  or  make  up  a 
commonwealth.  And  thus  that,  which  begins 
and  actually  constitutes  any  political  society, 
is  nothing  but  the  consent  of  any  number  of 
freemen  capable  of  a  majority  to  unite  and  in- 
corporate into  such  a  society.  And  this  is  that, 
and  that  only,  which  did,  or  could  give  begin- 
ning to  any  lawful  government  in  the  world. 

§.   100.  To  this  1  find  two  objections  made. 

First,  That  there  are  no  instances  to  bej'ound 
in  story,  of  a  company  ojy  men  independent,  and 


equal  one  amongst  another,  that  met  together, 
and  in  this  way  began  and  set  up  a  government. 

Secondly,  It  is  impossible  of  right,  that  men 
should  do  so,  because  all  men  being  bom  under 
government,  they  are  to  submit  to  that,  and  are 
not  at  liberty  to  begin  a  new  one. 

§.  101.  To  the  first  there  is  this  to  answer, 
That  it  is  not  at  all  to  be  wondered,  that 
history  gives  us  but  a  very  little  account  of  men, 
that  lived  together  in  the  state  of  nature.  The 
inconveniences  of  that  condition,  and  the  love 
and  want  of  society,  no  sooner  brought  any 
number  of  them  together,  but  they  presently 
united  and  incorporated,  if  they  designed  to 
continue  together.  And  if  we  may  not  suppose 
men  ever  to  have  been  in  the  state  of  nature, 
because  we  hear  not  much  of  them  in  such  a 
state,  we  may  as  well  suppose  the  armies  of 
Salmanasser  or  Xerxes  were  never  children,  be- 
cause we  hear  little  of  them,  till  they  were  men, 
and  imbodied  in  armies.  Government  is  every 
where  antecedent  to  records,  and  letters  seldom 
come  in  amongst  a  people  till  a  long  continua- 
tion of  civil  society  has,  by  other  more  neces- 
sary arts,  provided  for  their  safety,  ease,  and 
plenty :  and  then  they  begin  to  look  after  the 
history  of  their  founders,  and  search  into  their 
original,  when  they  have  outlived  the  memory 
of  it:  for  it  is  with  commoniucalths  as  with 
particular  persons,  they  are  commonly  ignorant 
of  their  own  births  and  infancies:  and  if  they 
know    any    thing   of  their   original,   they   are 



beholden  for  it,  to  the  accidental  records  that 
others  have  kept  of  it.  And  those  that  we  have, 
of  the  beginning  of  any  polities  in  the  world, 
excepting  that  of  the  Jews,  where  God  him- 
self immediately  interposed,  and  which  favours 
not  at  all  paternal  dominion,  are  all  either  plain 
instances  of  such  a  beginning  as  I  have  men- 
tioned, or  at  least  have  manifest  footsteps  of  it. 
"§.  102.  He  must  shew  a  strange  inclination 
to  deny  evident  matter  of  fact,  when  it  agrees 
not  with  his  hypothesis,  who  will  not  allow, 
that  the  beginning  of  Rome  and  Venice  were 
by  the  uniting  together  of  several  men  free  and 
independent  one  of  another,  amongst  whom 
there  was  no  natural  superiority  or  subjection. 
And  if  Josephus  Acosta's  word  may  be  taken, 
he  tells  us,  that  in  many  parts  of  America  there 
was  no  government  at  all.  There  are  great 
and  apparent  conjectures,  says  he,  that  these 
men,  speaking  of  those  of  Peru,  for  a  long  time 
had  neither  kings  nor  commonwealths,  but  lived 
hi  troops,  as  they  do  to  this  day  in  Florida,  the 
Cheriquanas,  those  of  Brazil,  and  many  other 
nations,  tvhich  have  no  certain  kings,  but  as  occa- 
sion is  offered,  in  peace  or  tear,  they  choose  their 
captains  as  they  please,  l.i.  c.  25.  If  it  be  said, 
that  every  man  there  was  born  subject  to  his 
father,  or  the  head  of  his  family;  that  the  sub- 
jection due  from  a  child  to  a  father  took  not 
away  his  freedom  of  uniting  into  what  political 
society  he  thought  fit,  has  been  already  proved. 
But  be  that  as  it  will,  these  men,  it  is  evident, 


were  actually  free\  and  whatever  superiority 
some  politicians  now  would  place  in  any  of 
them,  they  themselves  claimed  it  not,  but  by 
consent  were  all  equal,  till  by  the  same  consent 
they  set  rulers  over  themselves.  So  that  their 
politic  societies  all  began  from  a  voluntary  union, 
and  the  mutual  agreement  of  men  freely  acting 
in  the  choice  of  their  governors,  and  forms  of 

§.  103.  And  I  hope  those  who  went  away 
from  Sparta  with  Palantus,  mentioned  by 
Justin,  1.  iii.  c.  4.  will  be  allowed  to  have  been 
freemen  independent  one  of  another,  and  to  have 
set  up  a  government  over  themselves,  by  their 
own  consent.  Thus  I  have  given  several  exam- 
ples out  of  history,  of  people  free  and  in  the  state 
of  nature,  that  being  met  together  incorporated 
and  began  a  commonwealth.  And  if  the  want 
of  such  instances  be  an  argument  to  prove  that 
government  were  not,  nor  could  not  be  so  begun, 
I  suppose  the  contenders  for  paternal  empire 
were  better  to  let  it  alone,  than  urge  it  against 
natural  liberty :  for  if  they  can  give  so  many 
instances,  out  of  history,  of  governments  begun 
upon  paternal  right,  I  think  (though  at  best  an 
argument  from  what  has  been,  to  what  should 
of  right  be,  has  no  great  force)  one  might,  without 
any  great  danger,  yield  them  the  cause.  But 
if  I  might  advise  them  in  the  case,  they  would 
do  well  not  to  search  too  much  into  the  original 
of  governments,  as  they  have  begun  de  facto, 
lest  they  should  find,  at  the  foundation  of  most 

t  2 


of  them,  something  very  little  favourable  to  the 
design  they  promote,  and  such  a  power  as  they 
contend  for. 

§.  104.  But  to  conclude,  reason  being  plain 
on  our  side,  that  men  are  naturally  free,  and 
the  examples  of  history  shewing,  that  the 
governments  of  the  world,  that  were  begun  in 
peace,  had  their  beginning  laid  on  that  founda- 
tion, and  were  made  by  the  consent  of  the  peo- 
ple; there  can  be  little  room  for  doubt,  either 
where  the  right  is,  or  what  has  been  the 
opinion,  or  practice  of  mankind,  about  ihefirst 
erecting-  of  governments. 

§.  105.  I  will  not  deny,  that  if  we  look  back 
as  far  as  history  will  direct  us,  towards  the 
original  of  commoniuealths,  we  shall  generally 
find  them  under  the  government  and  adminis- 
tration of  one  man.  And  I  am  also  apt  to 
believe,  that  where  a  family  was  numerous 
enough  to  subsist  by  itself,  and  continued 
entire  together,  without  mixing  with  others,  as 
it  often  happens,  where  there  is  much  land, 
and  few  people,  the  government  commonly  be- 
gan in  the  father :  for  the  father  having,  by  the 
law  of  nature,  the  same  power  with  every  man 
else  to  punish,  as  he  thought  fit,  any  offences 
against  that  law,  might  thereby  punish  his 
transgressing  children,  even  when  they  were 
men,  and  out  of  their  pupilage  ;  and  they  were 
very  likely  to  submit  to  his  punishment,  and 
all  join  with  him  against  the  offender,  in  their 
turns,  giving  him  thereby  power  to  execute  his 


sentence  against  any  transgression,  and  so  in 
effect  make  him  the  law-maker,  and  governor 
over  all  that  remained  in  conjunction  with  his 
family.  He  was  fittest  to  be  trusted  ;  paternal 
affection  secured  their  property  and  interest 
under  his  care ;  and  the  custom  of  obeying 
him,  in  their  childhood,  made  it  easier  to 
submit  to  him,  rather  than  to  any  other.  If 
therefore  they  must  have  one  to  rule  them,  as 
government  is  hardly  to  be  avoided  amongst 
men  that  live  together;  who  so  likely  to  be 
the  man  as  he  that  was  their  common  father; 
unless  negligence,  cruelty,  or  any  other  defect 
of  mind  or  body  made  him  unfit  for  it?  But 
when  either  the  father  died,  and  left  his  next 
heir,  for  want  of  age,  wisdom,  courage,  or  any 
other  qualities,  less  fit  to  rule ;  or  where  seve- 
ral families  met,  and  consented  to  continue 
together;  there,  it  is  not  to  be  doubted,  but 
they  used  their  natural  freedom,  to  set  up  him, 
whom  they  judged  the  ablest,  and  most  likely, 
to  rule  well  over  them.  Conformable  here- 
unto we  find  the  people  of  America,  who  (living- 
out  of  the  reach  of  the  conquering  swords,  and 
spreading  domination  of  the  two  great  empires 
of  Peru  and  Mexico)  enjoyed  their  own  na- 
tural freedom,  though,  ccctcris  paribus,  they 
eommonly  prefer  the  heir  of  their  deceased 
king;  yet  if  they  find  him  any  way  weak,  or 
uncapable,  they  pass  him  by,  and  set  up  the 
stoutest  and  bravest  man  for  their  ruler 

106.  Tims,  though  looking  back  as  far  as 


records  give  us  any  account  of  peopling  the 
world,  and  the  history  of  nations,  we  common- 
ly find  the  government  to  be  in  one  hand ;  yet 
it  destroys  not  that  which  I  affirm,  viz,  that 
the  beginning  of  politic  society  depends  upon 
the  consent  of  the  individuals,  to  join  into,  and 
make  one  society;  who,  when  they  are  thus 
incorporated,  might  set  up  what  form  of  go- 
vernment they  thought  fit.  But  this  having 
given  occasion  to  men  to  mistake,  and  think, 
that  by  nature  government  was  monarchical, 
and  belonged  to  the  father,  it  may  not  be  amis 
here  to  consider,  why  people  in  the  beginning 
generally  pitched  upon  this  form,  which  though 
perhaps  the  father's  pre-eminency  might,  in  the 
first  institution  of  some  commonwealths,  give 
a  rise  to,  and  place  in  the  beginning,  the  power 
in  one  hand ;  yet  it  is  plain  that  the  reason, 
that  continued  the  form  of  government  in  a 
single  person,  was  not  any  regard,  or  respect 
to  paternal  authority  ;  since  all  petty  monar- 
chies, that  is,  almost  all  monarchies,  near  their 
original,  have  been  commonly,  at  least  upon 
occasion,  elective. 

§.  107.  First  then,  in  the  beginning  of  things, 
the  father's  government  of  the  childhood  of 
those  sprung  from  him,  having  accustomed 
them  to  the  rule  of  one  man,  and  taught  them 
that  where  it  was  exercised  with  care  and 
skill,  with  affection  and  love  to  those  under  it, 
it  was  sufficient  to  procure  and  preserve  to 
men  all  the  political  happiness  they  sought  for 


in  society.     It  was  no  wonder  that  they  should 
pitch  upon,  and  naturally  run  into  that  form 
of  government,  which  from  their  infancy  they 
had  been   all   accustomed  to ;  and  which,  by 
experience,    they    had    found    both   easy    and 
safe.      To   which,   if   we  add,  that  monarchy 
being  simple,  and  most  obvious  to  men,  whom 
neither  experience  had  instructed  in  forms  of 
government,  nor  the  ambition   or  insolence  of 
empire  had  taught  to  beware  of  the  encroach- 
ments of  prerogative,  or  the  inconveniencies  of 
absolute  power,  which  monarchy  in  succession 
was  apt  to  lay  claim  to,  and  bring  upon  them ; 
it  was  not  at  all  strange,  that  they  should  not 
much  trouble  themselves  to  think  of  methods 
of  restraining   any  exorbitances    of  those   to 
whom  they  had  given  the  authority  over  them, 
and  of  balancing  the  power  of  government,  by 
placing  several  parts  of  it  in   different  hands. 
They  had  neither  felt  the  oppression  of  tyranni- 
cal dominion,  nor  did   the  fashion  of  the  age, 
nor  their  possessions,  or  way  of  living,  (which 
afforded  little  matter  for  covetousness  or  am- 
bition) give  them  any  reason  to  apprehend  or 
provide    against   it ;    and    therefore    it   is    no 
wonder  they  put  themselves  into  such  a  frame 
of  government,   as  was  not  only,    as    1   said, 
most  obvious  and  simple,  but  also  best  suited 
to    their  present   state  and  condition;    which 
stood  more  in  need  of  defence  against  foreign 
invasions  and  injuries,   than  of  multiplicity  of 
laws.     The  equality  of  a  simple  poor  way  of 


living,  confining  their  desires  within  the  narrow 
bounds  of  each  man's  small  property,  made 
few  controversies,  and  so  no  need  of  many 
laws  to  decide  them,  or  variety  of  officers  to 
superintend  the  process,  or  look  after  the 
execution  of  justice,  where  there  were  but  few 
trespasses,  and  few  offenders.  Since  then 
those,  who  liked  one  another  so  well  as  to  join 
into  society,  cannot  but  be  supposed  to  have 
some  acquaintance  and  friendship  together, 
and  some  trust  one  in  another ;  they  could  not 
but  have  greater  apprehensions  of  others,  than 
of  one  another :  and  therefore  their  first  care 
and  thought  cannot  but  be  supposed  to  be,  how 
to  secure  themselves  against  foreign  force.  It 
was  natural  for  them  to  put  themselves  under 
a  frame  of  government  which  might  best  serve 
to  that  end,  and  chuse  the  wisest  and  bravest 
man  to  conduct  them  in  their  wars,  and  lead 
them  out  against  their  enemies,  and  in  this 
chiefly  be  their  ruler. 

\.  108.  Thus  we  see,  that  the  kings  of  the 
Indians  in  America,  which  is  still  a  pattern  of 
the  first  ages  in  Asia  and  Europe,  whilst  the 
inhabitants  were  too  few  for  the  country,  and 
want  of  people  and  money  gave  men  no 
temptation  to  enlarge  their  possessions  of  land, 
or  contest  for  wider  extent  of  ground,  are  little 
more  than  generals  of  their  armies;  and  though 
they  command  absolutely  in  war,  yet  at  home 
and  in  time  of  peace  they  exercise  very  little 
dominion,   and    have    but    a    verv   moderate 


sovereignty,  the  resolutions  of  peace  and  war 
being  ordinarily  either  in  the  people,  or  in  a 
council.  Though  the  war  itself,  which  admits 
not  of  plurality  of  governors,  naturally  devolves 
the  command  into  the  king's  sole  authority. 

\.  109.  And  thus  in  Israel  itself,  the  chief 
business  of  their  judges,  and  first  kings,  seems 
to  have  been  to  be  captains  in  war,  and  leaders 
of  their  armies ;  which  (besides  what  is  signi- 
fied by  going  out  and  in  before  the  people, 
which  was  to  march  forth  to  war,  and  home 
again  in  the  heads  of  their  forces)  appears 
plainly  in  the  story  of  Jephlha.  The  Ammo- 
nites making  war  upon  Israel,  the  Gileadites 
in  fear  send  to  Jephtha,  a  bastard  of  their 
family  whom  they  had  cast  off,  and  article 
with  him,  if  he  will  assist  them  against  the 
Ammonites,  to  make  him  their  ruler;  which 
they  do  in  these  words,  And  the  people  made 
him  head  and  captain  over  them,  Judges  xi.  11. 
which  was,  as  it  seems,  all  one  as  to  be  judge* 
And  he  judged  Israel,  Judges  xii.  7.  that  is, 
was  their  captain-general  six  years.  So  when 
Jotham  upbraids  the  Shechemites  with  the 
obligation  they  had  to  Gideon,  who  had  been 
their  judge  and  ruler,  he  tells  them,  He  fought 
for  you,  and  adventured  his  life  jar,  and  de- 
livered you  out  of  the  hands  of  Midian,  J"g.  ix. 
J 7.  Nothing  mentioned  of  him,  but  what  he 
did  as  a  general:  and  indeed  that  is  all  is 
found  in  his  history,  or  in  any  of  the  rest  of 
the   judges.      And    Abimclech   particularly   is 


called  king,  thought  at  most  he  was  but  their 
general.  And  when,  being  weary  of  the  ill 
conduct  of  Samuels  sons,  the  children  of 
Israel  desired  a  king,  like  all  the  nations  to 
judge  them,  and  to  go  out  before  them,  and  to 
fight  their  battles,  1  Sam.  viii.  20.  God  grant- 
ing their  desire,  says  to  Samuel,  1  ivill  send 
thee  a  man,  and  thou  shall  anoint  him  to  be 
captain  over  my  people  Israel,  that  he  may  save 
my  people  out  of  the  hands  of  the  Philistines, 
ix.  16.  As  if  the  only  business  of  a  king  had 
been  to  lead  out  their  armies,  and  light  in  their 
defence;  and  accordingly  at  his  inauguration 
pouring  a  vial  of  oil  upon  him,  declares  to 
Saul,  that  the  Lord  had  anointed  him  to  be 
captain  over  his  inheritance,  x.  1 .  And  there- 
fore those,  who  after  Saul's  being  solemnly 
chosen  and  saluted  king  by  the  tribes  at  Mis- 
pah,  were  unwilling  to  have  him  their  king, 
made  no  other  objection  but  this,  How  shall 
this  man  save  us?  v.  27.  as  if  they  should  have 
said,  this  man  is  unfit  to  be  our  king,  not 
having  skill  and  conduct  enough  in  war,  to  be 
able  to  defend  us.  And  when  God  resolved 
to  transfer  the  government  to  David,  it  is  in 
these  words,  Hut  note  thy  kingdom  shall  not 
continue:  the  Lord  hath  sought  him  a  man 
after  his  own  heart,  and  the  Lord  hath  com- 
manded him  to  be  captain  over  his  people,  xiii. 
14.  As  if  the  whole  kingly  authority  were  no- 
thing else  but  to  be  their  general :  and  there- 
fore the  tribes  who  had  stuck  to  Saul's  family, 


and  opposed  David's  reign,  when  they  came 
to  Hebron  with  terms  of  submission  to  him, 
they  tell  him,  amongst  other  arguments  they 
had  to  submit  to  him  as  to  their  king,  that 
he  was  in  effect  their  king  in  Sauls  time,  and 
therefore  they  had  no  reason  but  to  receive 
him  as  their  king  now.  Also  (say  they)  in 
time  pasty  tvhen  Saul  ivas  king  over  us,  thou 
ivast  he  that  leddest  out  and  broughtest  in 
Israel,  and  the  Lord  said  unto  thee,  Thou  shall 
feed  my  people  Israel,  and  thou  shalt  be  a 
captain  over  Israel. 

§.  110.  Thus,  whether  a  family  by  degrees 
greiv  up  into  a  commonwealth,  and  the  fatherly 
authority  being  continued  on  to  the  elder  son, 
every  one  in  his  turn  growing  up  under  it,  tacitly 
submitted  to  it,  and  the  easiness  and  equality 
of  it  not  offending  any  one,  every  one  acquiesced, 
till  time  seemed  to  have  confirmed  it,  and 
settled  a  right  of  succession  by  prescription  :  or 
whether  several  families,  or  the  descendents  of 
several  families,  whom  chance,  neighbourhood, 
or  business  brought  together,  uniting  into  so- 
ciety, the  need  of  a  general,  whose  conduct 
might  defend  them  against  their  enemies  in 
war,  and  the  great  confidence  the  innocence 
and  sincerity  of  that  poor  but  virtuous  age,  (such 
as  are  almost  all  those  which  begin  govern- 
ments, that  ever  come  to  last  in  the  world)  gave 
men  one  of  another,  made  the  first  beginners  of 
of  commonwealths  generally  put  the  rule  into 
one    man's  hand,    without  any  other   express 


limitation  or  restraint,  but  what  the  nature  of 
the  thing,  and  the  end  of  government  required : 
which  ever  of  those  it  was  that  at  first  put  the 
rule  into  the  hands  of  a  single  person,  certain 
it  is  no  body  was  intrusted  with  it  but  for  the 
public  good  and  safety,  and  to  those  ends,  in 
the  infancies  of  commonwealths,  those  who  had 
it  commonly  used  it.  And  unless  they  had 
done  so,  young  societies  could  not  have  sub- 
sisted ;  without  such  nursing  fathers  tender  and 
careful  of  the  public  weal,  all  governments 
would  have  sunk  under  the  weakness  and  infir- 
mities of  their  infancy,  and  the  prince  and  the 
people  had  soon  perished  together. 

§.  111.  But  though  the  golden  age  (before 
vain  ambition,  and  amor  sceleralus  kabendi,  evil 
concupiscence,  had  corrupted  men's  minds  into 
a  mistake  of  true  power  and  honour)  had  more 
virtue,  and  consequently  better  governors,  as 
well  as  less  vicious  subjects ;  and  there  was 
then  no  stretching  prerogative  on  the  one  side, 
to  oppress  the  people ;  nor  consequently  on 
the  other,  any  dispute  about  privilege,  to  lessen 
or  restrain  the  power  of  the  magistrate,  and  so 
no  contest  betwixt  rulers  and  people  about 
governors  or  government:  yet,  when  ambition 
and  luxury  in  future  ages*  would  retain  and 

•  At  first,  when  some  certain  kind  of  regiment  was  once 
approved,  it  may  be  nothing  was  then  farther  thought  upon 
for  the  manner  of  governing,  but  all  permitted  unto  their 
•wisdom  and  discretion  which  were  to  rule,  till  by  experience 
they  found  this  for  all  parts   very  inconvenient,  so  as  the 


increase  the  power,  without  doing  the  business 
for  which  it  was  given;  and  aided  by  flattery, 
taught  princes  to  have  distinct  and  separate 
interests  from  their  people,  men  found  it  neces- 
sary to  examine  more  carefully  the  original and 
rights  of  government;  and  to  find  out  ways  to 
restrain  the  exorbitances,  and  prevent  the  abuses 
of  that  power,  which  they  having  intrusted  in 
another's  hands  only  for  their  own  good,  they 
found  was  made  use  of  to  hurt  them. 

§.  112.  Thus  we  may  see  how  probable  it  is, 
that  people  that  were  naturally  free,  and  by 
their  own  consent  either  submitted  to  the 
government  of  their  father,  or  united  together 
out  of  different  families  to  make  a  government, 
should  generally  put  the  rule  into  one  mans 
hands,  and  chuse  to  be  under  the  conduct  of  a 
single  person,  without  so  much  as  by  express 
conditions  limiting  or  regelating  his  power, 
which  they  thought  safe  enough  in  his  honesty 
and  prudence ;  though  they  never  dreamed  of 
monarchy  being  Jure  Divino,  which  we  never 
heard  of  among  mankind,  till  it  was  revealed  to 
us  by  the  divinity  of  this  last  age ;  nor  ever 
allowed  paternal  power  to  have  a  right  to  do- 
minion, or  to  be  the  foundation  of  all  govern- 

thing  which  they  had  devised  for  a  remedy,  did  indeed  hut 
increase  the  sore  which  it  should  have  cured.  They  saw, 
that  to  live  by  one  man's  will,  became  the  cause  of  all  men's 
misery.  This  constrained  them  to  come  unto  laws  wherein 
all  men  might  see  their  duty  beforehand,  and  know  the  penal- 
ties of  transsressino;  them.    Hooker's  Eccl.  Pol.  I.  i.  sect.  10. 


ment.  And  thus  much  may  suffice  to  shew, 
that  as  far  as  we  have  any  light  from  history, 
we  have  reason  to  conclude,  that  all  peaceful 
beginnings  of  government  have  been  laid  in  the 
consent  of  the  'people.  I  say  peaceful,  because 
I  shall  have  occasion  in  another  place  to  speak 
of  conquest,  which  some  esteem  a  way  of 
beginning  of  governments. 

The  other  objection  I  find  urged  against  the 
beginning  of  polities  in  the  way  1  have  men- 
tioned, is  this,  viz. 

§.  113.  That  all  men  being  born  under  govern- 
ment, some  or  other,  it  is  impossible  any  of  them 
should  ever  be  free,  and  at  liberty  to  unite 
together,  and  begin  a  new  one,  or  ever  be  able  to 
erect  a  lauf  id  government. 

If  this  argument  be  good;  I  ask,  how  came 
so  many  lawful  monarchies  into  the  world?  for 
if  any  body,  upon  this  supposition,  can  shew 
me  any  one  man  in  any  age  of  the  world  free 
to  begin  a  lawful  monarchy,  I  will  be  bound  to 
shew  him  ten  other  free  men  at  liberty,  at  the 
same  time  to  unite  and  begin  a  new  government 
under  a  regal,  or  any  other  form ;  it  being 
demonstration,  that  if  any  one,  born  under  the 
dominion  of  another,  may  be  no  free  as  to  have 
a  right  to  command  others  in  a  new  and  distinct 
empire,  every  one  that  is  born  under  the  dominion 
of  another  may  be  so  free  too,  and  may  become 
a  ruler,  or  subject,  of  a  distinct  separate  govern- 
ment. And  so  by  this  their  own  principle, 
either  all  men,  however  born,  are  free,  or  else 


there  is  but  one  lawful  prince,  one  lawful  govern- 
ment in  the  world.  And  then  they  have  nothing 
to  do,  but  barely  to  shew  us  which  that  is  ;  which 
when  they  have  done,  I  doubt  not  but  all  man- 
kind will  easily  agree  to  pay  obedience  to  him. 

§.  114.  Though  it  be  a  sufficient  answer  to 
their  objection,  to  shew  that  it  involves  them 
in  the  same  difficulties  that  it  doth  those  they 
use  it  against;  yet  I  shall  endeavour  to  discover 
the  weakness  of  this  argument  a  little  farther. 

All  men,  say  they,  are  born  under  government, 
and  therefore  they  cannot  be  at  liberty  to  begin  a 
neiv  one.  Every  one  is  bom  a  subject  to  his 
father  or  his  prince,  and  is  therefore  under  the 
perpetual  tie  of  subjection  and  allegiance.  It  is 
plain  mankind  never  owned  nor  considered 
any  such  natural  subjection  that  they  were  born 
in,  to  one  or  to  the  other  that  tied  them,  with- 
out their  own  consents,  to  a  subjection  to  them 
and  their  heirs. 

§.  115.  For  there  are  no  examples  so  fre- 
quent in  history,  both  sacred  and  profane,  as 
those  of  men  withdrawing  themselves,  and  their 
obedience  from  the  jurisdiction  they  were  born 
under,  and  the  family  or  community  they  were 
bred  up  in,  and  setting  up  new  governments  in 
other  places ;  from  whence  sprang  all  that 
number  of  petty  commonwealths  in  the  begin- 
ning of  ages,  and  which  always  multiplied,  as 
long  as  there  was  room  enough,  till  tiie  stronger, 
or  more  fortunate,  swallowed  the  weaker;  and 
those   great    ones    again    breaking   to    pieces, 


dissolved  into  lesser  dominions.  All  which 
are  so  many  testimonies  against  paternal 
sovereignty,  and  plainly  prove,  that  it  was  not 
the  natural  right  of  the  father  descending  to 
his  heirs,  that  made  governments  in  the  begin- 
ning, since  it  was  impossible,  upon  that  ground, 
there  should  have  been  so  many  little  king- 
doms ;  all  must  have  been  but  only  one  universal 
monarchy,  if  men  had  not  been  at  liberty  to 
separate  themselves  from  their  families,  and 
the  government,  be  it  what  it  will,  that  was 
set  up  in  it,  and  go  and  make  distinct  common- 
wealths and  other  governments  as  they  thought 

§.  116.  This  has  been  the  practice  of  the 
world  from  its  first  beginning  to  this  day ;  nor 
is  it  now  any  more  hindrance  to  the  freedom 
of  mankind,  that  they  are  bom  under  constituted 
and  ancient  polities,  that  have  established  laws, 
and  set  forms  of  government,  than  if  they  were 
born  in  the  woods,  amongst  the  unconfined 
inhabitants,  that  run  loose  in  them:  for  those, 
who  would  persuade  us,  that  by  being  bom 
under  any  government,  ive  are  naturally  subjects 
to  it,  and  have  no  more  any  title  or  pretence  to 
the  freedom  of  the  state  of  nature,  have  no  other 
reason  (bating  that  of  paternal  power,  which 
we  have  already  answered)  to  produce  for  it, 
but  only,  because  our  fathers  or  progenitors 
passed  away  their  natural  liberty,  and  thereby 
bound  up  themselves  and  their  posterity  to  a 
perpetual  subjection  to  the  government,  which 


they  themselves  submitted  to.  It  is  true,  that 
whatever  engagements  or  promises  any  one  has 
made  for  himself,  he  is  under  the  obligation  of 
them,  but  cannot,  by  any  compact  whatsoever, 
bind  his  children  or  posterity :  for  his  son,  when 
a  man,  being  altogether  as  free  as  the  father, 
any  act  of  the  father  can  no  more  give  away  the 
liberty  of  the  son,  than  it  can  of  any  body  else  : 
he  may  indeed  annex  such  conditions  to  the 
land,  he  enjoyed  as  a  subject  of  any  common- 
wealth, as  may  oblige  his  son  to  be  of  that 
community,  if  he  will  enjoy  those  possessions 
which  were  his  fathers ;  because  that  estate 
being  his  father's  property,  he  may  dispose,  or 
settle  it,  as  he  pleases. 

§.  117.  And  this  has  generally  given  the  oc- 
casion to  mistake  in  this  matter ;  because  com- 
monwealths not  permitting  any  part  of  their 
dominions  to  be  dismembered,  nor  to  be 
enjoyed  by  any  but  those  of  their  community, 
the  son  cannot  ordinarily  enjoy  the  possessions 
of  his  father,  but  under  the  same  terms  his 
father  did,  by  becoming  a  member  of  the 
society;  whereby  he  puts  himself  presently 
under  the  government  he  finds  there  established, 
as  much  as  any  other  subject  of  that  common- 
wealth. And  thus  the  consent  of  free  men 
bom  under  government,  which  only  makes  them 
members  of  it,  being  given  separately  in  their 
turns,  as  each  comes  to  be  of  age,  and  not  in 
a  multitude  together;  people  take  no  notice 
of  it,  and   thinking  it  not  done  at  all,  or  not 



necessary,  conclude  they  are  naturally  subjects 
as  they  are  men. 

§.  118.  But,  it  is  plain  governments  them- 
selves understand  it  otherwise ;  they  claim  no 
power  over  the  son,  because  of  that  they  had 
over  the  father;  nor  look  on  children  as  being 
their  subjects,  by  their  fathers  being*  so.  If  a 
subject  of  England  have  a  child,  by  an  En- 
glish woman  in  France,  whose  subject  is  he? 
Not  the  king  of  England" s ;  for  he  must  have 
leave  to  be  admitted  to  the  privileges  of  it : 
nor  the  king  of  France's;  for  how  then  has  his 
father  a  liberty  to  bring  him  away,  and  breed 
him  as  he  pleases?  and  whoever  was  judged 
as  a  traytor  or  deserter,  if  he  left,  or  warred 
against  a  country,  for  being  barely  born  in  it 
of  parents  that  were  aliens  there  ?  It  is  plain 
then,  by  the  practice  of  governments  them- 
selves, as  well  as  by  the  law  of  right  reason, 
that  a  child  is  born  a  subject  of  no  country  or 
government.  He  is  under  his  father's  tuition 
and  authority,  till  he  comes  to  age  of  discre- 
tion ;  and  then  he  is  a  freeman,  at  liberty  what 
government  he  will  put  himself  under,  what 
body  politic  he  will  unite  himself  to  :  for  if  an 
Englishman  s  son,  born  in  France,  be  at  liberty, 
and  may  do  so,  it  is  evident  there  is  no  tie 
upon  him  by  his  father's  being  a  subject  of 
this  kingdom;  nor  is  he  bound  up  by  any 
compact  of  his  ancestors.  And  why  then  hath 
not  his  son,  by  the  same  reason,  the  same 
liberty,   though  he  be  born  any  where  else? 


Since -the  power  that  a  father  hath  naturally 
over  his  children,  is  the  same,  wherever  they 
be  born,  and  the  ties  of  natural  obligations  are 
not  bounded  by  the  positive  limits  of  kingdoms 
and  commonwealths. 

§.  119.  Every  man  being,  as  has  been  shewed, 
naturally  free,  and  nothing  being  able  to  put 
him  into  subjection  to  any  earthly  power,  but 
only  his  own  consent;  it  is  to  be  considered, 
what  shall  be  understood  to  be  a  sufficient 
declaration  of  a  man's  consent,  to  make  him 
subject  to  the  laws  of  any  government.  There 
is  a  common  distinction  of  an  express  and 
tacit  consent,  which  will  concern  our  present 
case.  Nobody  doubts  but  an  express  consent, 
of  any  man  entering  into  any  society,  makes 
him  a  perfect  member  of  that  society,  a  sub- 
ject of  that  government.  The  difficulty  is, 
what  ought  to  be  looked  upon  as  a  tacit  con- 
sent, and  how  far  it  binds,  i.  e.  how  far  any 
one  shall  be  looked  on  to  have  consented,  and 
thereby  submitted  to  any  government,  where 
he  has  made  no  expressions  of  it  at  all.  And 
to  this  I  say,  that  every  man,  that  hath  any 
possessions,  or  enjoyment,  of  any  part  of  the 
dominions  of  any  government,  doth  thereby 
give  his  tacit  consent,  and  is  as  far  forth  obliged 
to  obedience  to  the  laws  of  that  government, 
during  such  enjoyment,  as  any  one  under  it; 
whether  this  his  possession  be  of  land,  to  him 
and  his  heirs  for  ever,  or  a  lodging  only  for  a 
week  ;  or  whether  it  be  barely  travelling  freely 

u  2 


on  the  highway ;  and  in  effect,  it  reaches  as  fai 
as  the  very  being  of  any  one  within  the  territo- 
ries of  that  government. 

§.  120.  To  understand  this  the  better,  it  is 
fit  to  consider,  that  every  man,  when  he  at 
first  incorporates  himself  into  any  common- 
wealth, he,  by  his  uniting  himself  thereunto, 
annexes  also,  and  submits  to  the  community, 
those  posssessions,  which  he  has,  or  shall 
acquire,  that  do  not  already  belong  to  any 
other  government:  for  it  would  be  a  direct 
contradiction,  for  any  one  to  enter  into  society 
with  others  for  the  securing  and  regulating  of 
property  ;  and  yet  to  suppose  his  land,  whose 
property  is  to  be  regulated  by  the  laws  of  the 
society,  should  be  exempt  from  the  jurisdiction 
of  that  government,  to  which  he  himself,  the 
proprietor  of  the  land,  is  a  subject.  By  the 
same  act  therefore,  whereby  any  one  unites  his 
person,  which  was  before  free,  to  any  common- 
wealth ;  by  the  same  he  unites  his  possessions, 
which  were  before  free,  to  it  also ;  and  they 
become,  both  of  them,  person  and  possession, 
subject  to  the  government  and  dominion  of 
that  commonwealth,  as  long  as  it  hath  a  being. 
Whoever  therefore,  from  thenceforth,  by  inhe- 
ritance, purchase,  permission,  or  otherways, 
enjoys  any  part  of  the  land,  so  annexed  to,  and 
under  the  government  of  that  commonwealth, 
must  take  it  with  the  condition  it  is  under;  that 
is,  of  submitting  to  the  government  of  the  com- 


■momvealth,  under  whose  jurisdiction  it  is,  as 
far  forth  as  any  subject  of  it. 

§.  121.  But  since  the  government  has  a  di- 
rect jurisdiction  only  over  the  land,  and  reaches 
the  possessor  of  it,  (before  he  has  actually  in- 
corporated himself  in  the  society)  only  as  he 
dwells  upon,  and  enjoys  that;  the  obligation 
any  one  is  under,  by  virtue  of  such  enjoyment, 
to  submit  to  the  government ,  begins  and  ends 
with  the  enjoyment;  so  that  whenever  the 
owner,  who  has  given  nothing  but  such  a  tacit 
consent  to  the  government,  will,  by  donation, 
sale,  or  otherwise,  quit  the  said  possession,  he 
is  at  liberty  to  go  and  incorporate  himself  into 
any  other  commonwealth;  or  to  agree  with 
others  to  begin  a  new  one,  in  vacuis  locis,  in 
any  part  of  the  world,  they  can  find  free  and 
unpossessed  :  whereas,  he  that  has  once,  by 
actual  agreement,  and  any  express  declaration, 
given  his  consent  to  be  of  any  commonwealth, 
is  perpetually  and  indispensibly  obliged  to  be, 
and  remain  unalterably  a  subject  to  it,  and  can 
never  be  again  in  the  liberty  of  the  state  of 
nature ;  unless,  by  any  calamity,  the  govern- 
ment he  was  under  comes  to  be  dissolved  ;  or 
else  by  some  public  act  cuts  him  off  from  being 
any  longer  a  member  of  it. 

§.  122.  But  submitting  to  the  laws  of  any 
country,  living  quietly,  and  enjoying  privileges 
and  protection  under  them,  makes  not  a  man 
member  of  that  society:  this  is  only  a  local 
protection   and   homage  due   to   and    from   all 


those,  who,  not  being  in  a  state  of  war,  come 
within  the  territories  belonging'  to  any  govern- 
ment, to  all  parts  whereof  the  force  of  its  laws 
extends.  But  this  no  more  makes  a  man  a 
member  of  that  society,  a  perpetual  subject  of 
that  commonwealth,  than  it  would  make  a  man 
a  subject  to  another,  in  whose  family  he  found 
it  convenient  to  abide  for  some  time ;  though, 
whilst  he  continued  in  it,  he  were  obliged  to 
comply  with  the  laws,  and  submit  to  the  go- 
vernment he  found  there.  And  thus  we  see, 
that  foreigners,  by  living  all  their  lives  under 
another  government,  and  enjoying  the  privi- 
leges and  protection  of  it,  though  they  are 
bound,  even  in  conscience,  to  submit  to  its 
administration,  as  far  forth  as  any  denison ; 
yet  do  not  thereby  come  to  be  subjects  or  mem- 
bers of  that  commonwealth.  Nothing  can 
make  any  man  so,  but  his  actually  entering 
into  it  by  positive  engagement,  and  express 
promise  and  compact.  This  is  that  which  I 
think  concerning  the  beginning  of  political 
societies,  and  that  consent  which  makes  any  one 
a  member  of  any  commonwealth. 


Of  the  Ends  of  Political  Society  and 

%.  123.  If  man  in  the  state  of  nature  be  so 
free,  as  has  been  said ;  if  he  be  absolute  lord 


of  his  own  person  and  possessions,  equal  to 
the  greatest,  and  subject  to  no  body,  why  will 
he  part  with  his  freedom  ?  why  will  he  give  up 
this  empire,  and  subject  himself  to  the  domi- 
nion and  controul  of  any  other  power?  To 
which  it  is  obvious  to  answer,  that  though  in 
the  state  of  nature  he  hath  such  a  right,  yet 
the  enjoyment  of  it  is  very  uncertain,  and  con- 
stantly exposed  to  the  invasion  of  others :  for 
all  being  kings  as  much  as  he,  every  man  his 
equal,  and  the  greater  part  no  strict  observers 
of  equity  and  justice,  the  enjoyment  of  the 
property  he  has  in  this  state  is  very  unsafe, 
very  unsecure.  This  makes  him  willing  to 
quit  a  condition,  which,  however  free,  is  full 
of  fears  and  continual  dangers :  and  it  is  not 
without  reason,  that  he  seeks  out,  and  is 
willing  to  join  in  society  with  others,  who  are 
already  united,  to  have  a  mind  to  unite,  for 
the  mutual  preservation  of  their  lives,  liberties 
and  estates,  which  I  call  by  the  general  name, 

%.  124.  The  great  and  chief  end,  therefore, 
of  men's  uniting  into  commonwealths,  and 
putting  themselves  under  government,  is  the 
preservation  of  their  properly.  To  which  in 
the  state  of  nature  there  are  many  things 

First,  There  wants  an  established,  settled, 
known  law,  received  and  allowed  by  common 
consent  to  be  the  standard  of  right  and  wrong, 
and  the  common  measure  to  decide  all  con- 


troversies  between  them  :  for  though  the  law  of 
nature  be  plain  and  intelligible  to  all  rational 
creatures ;  yet  men  being  biassed  by  their  in- 
terest, as  well  as  ignorant  for  want  of  study  of 
it,  are  not  apt  to  allow  of  it  as  a  law  binding 
to  them  in  the  application  of  it  to  their  parti- 
cular cases. 

§.  125.  Secondly,  In  the  state  of  nature 
there  wants  a  known  unci  indifferent  judge,  with 
authority  to  determine  all  differences  according 
to  the  established  law :  for  every  one  in  that 
state  being  both  judge  and  executioner  of  the 
law  of  nature,  men  being  partial  to  themselves, 
passion  and  revenge  is  very  apt  to  carry  them 
too  far,  and  with  too  much  heat,  in  their  own 
cases ;  as  well  as  negligence,  and  uncon- 
cernedness,  to  make  them  to  remiss  in  other 

§.  126.  Thirdly,  In  the  state  of  nature  there 
often  wants  poiuer  to  back  and  support  the  sen- 
tence when  right,  and  to  give  it  due  execution. 
They  who  by  any  injustice  offended,  will 
seldom  fail,  where  they  are  able,  by  force  to 
make  good  their  injustice ;  such  resistance 
many  times  makes  the  punishment  dangerous, 
and  frequently  destructive,  to  those  who 
attempt  it. 

<§.  127.  Thus  mankind,  notwithstanding  all 
the  privileges  of  the  state  of  nature,  being  but 
in  an  ill  condition,  while  they  remain  in  it,  are 
quickly  driven  into  society.  Hence  it  comes 
to  pass,  that  we  seldom  find  any  number  of 


men  live  any  time  together  in  this  state.  The 
inconveniencies  that  they  are  therein  exposed 
to  by  the  irregular  and  uncertain  exercise  of 
the  power  every  man  has  of  punishing  the  trans- 
gressions of  others,  make  them  take  sanctuary 
under  the  established  laws  of  government,  and 
therein  seek  the  preservation  of  their  property. 
It  is  this  makes  them  so  willingly  give  up  every 
one  his  single  power  of  punishing,  to  be  exer- 
cised by  such  alone,  as  shall  be  appointed  to  it 
amongst  them ;  and  by  such  rules  as  the  com- 
munity, or  those  authorized  by  them  to  that 
purpose,  shall  agree  on.  And  in  this  we  have 
the  original  right  and  rise  of  both  the  legislative 
and  executive  poiver,  as  well  as  of  the  govern- 
ments and  societies  themselves. 

§.  128.  For  in  the  state  of  nature,  to  omit 
the  liberty  he  has  of  innocent  delights,  a  man 
has  two  powers. 

The  first  is  to  do  whatsoever  he  thinks  fit  for 
the  preservation  of  himself,  and  others  within 
the  permission  of  the  law  of  nature:  by  which 
law,  common  to  them  all,  he  and  all  the  rest  of 
mankind  are  one  community,  make  up  one 
society,  distinct  from  all  other  creatures.  And 
were  it  not  for  the  corruption  and  vitiousness 
of  degenerate  men,  there  would  be  no  need  of 
any  other  ;  no  necessity  that  men  should  sepa- 
rate from  this  great  and  natural  community, 
and  by  positive  agreements  combine  into 
smaller  and  divided  associations. 

The  other  power  a   man  has  in  the  state  of 


nature,  is  the  power  to  punish  the  crimes  com- 
mitted against  that  law.  Both  these  he  gives 
up,  when  he  joins  in  a  private,  if  I  may  so  call  it, 
or  particular  politic  society,  and  incorporates 
into  any  commonwealth,  separate  from  the  rest 
of  mankind. 

§.  129.  The  first  power,  viz.  of  doing  whatso- 
ever he  thought  for  the  preservation  of  himself, 
and  the  rest  of  mankind,  he  gives  up  to  be  regu- 
lated by  laws  made  by  the  society,  so  far  forth 
as  the  preservation  of  himself,  and  the  rest  of 
that  society  shall  require ;  which  laws  of  the 
society  in  many  things  confine  the  liberty  he 
had  by  the  law  of  nature. 

§.  130.  Secondly,  The  power  of  punishing  he 
wholly  gives  up,  and  engages  his  natural  force, 
(which  he  might  before  employ  in  the  execution 
of  the  law  of  nature,  by  his  own  single  authority, 
as  he  thought  fit)  to  assist  the  executive  power  of 
the  society,  as  the  law  thereof  shall  require  :  for 
being  now  in  a  new  state,  wherein  he  is  to  enjoy 
many  conveniencies  from  the  labour,  assistance, 
and  society  of  others  in  the  same  community, 
as  well  as  protection  from  its  whole  strength ; 
he  is  to  part  also  with  as  much  of  his  natural 
liberty,  in  providing  for  himself,  as  the  good 
prosperity,  and  safety  of  the  society  shall  re- 
quire ;  which  is  not  only  necessary,  but  just, 
since  the  other  members  of  the  society  do  the 

§.  131.  But  though  men,  when  they  enter 
into  society,  give  up  the  equality,  liberty,  and 


executive  power  they  had  in  the  state  of  nature, 
into  the  hands  of  the  society,  to  be  so  far 
disposed  of  by  the  legislative,  as  the  good  of 
the  society  shall  require  ;  yet  it  being  only  with 
an  intention  in  every  one  the  better  to  preserve 
himself,  his  liberty  and  property ;  (for  no 
rational  creature  can  be  supposed  to  change  his 
condition  with  an  intention  to  be  worse)  the 
power  of  the  society,  or  legislative  constituted 
by  them,  can  never  be  supposed  to  extend  far  I  her 
than  the  common  good ;  but  is  obliged  to  secure 
every  one's  property,  by  providing  against  those 
three  defects  above  mentioned,  that  made  the 
state  of  nature  so  unsafe  and  uneasy.  And  so 
whoever  has  the  legislative  or  supreme  power 
of  any  commonwealth,  is  bound  to  govern  by 
established  standing  laivs,  promulgated  and 
known  to  the  people,  and  not  by  extemporary 
decrees ;  by  indifferent  and  upright  judges, 
who  are  to  decide  controversies  by  those  laws; 
and  to  employ  the  force  of  the  community  at 
home,  only  in  the  execution  of  such  laws,  or 
abroad  to  prevent  or  redress  foreign  injuries, 
and  secure  the  community  from  inroads  and 
invasion.  And  all  this  to  be  directed  to  no 
other  end,  but  the  peace,  safety,  and  public  good 
of  the  people. 



Of  the  Forms  of  a  Commonwealth. 

%.  132.  The  majority  having,  as  has  been 
shewed,  upon  men's  first  uniting  into  society, 
the  whole  power  of  the  community  naturally  in 
them,  may  employ  all  that  power  in  making 
laws  for  the  community  from  time  to  time,  and 
executing  those  laws  by  officers  of  their  own 
appointing :  and  then  the  form  of  the  govern- 
ment is  a  perfect  democracy :  or  else  may  put 
the  power  of  making  laws  into  the  hands  of  a 
few  select  men,  and  their  heirs  or  successors; 
and  then  it  is  an  oligarchy :  or  else  into  the 
hands  of  one  man,  and  then  it  is  a  monarchy : 
if  to  him  and  his  heirs,  it  is  an  hereditary 
monarchy:  if  to  him  only  for  life,  but  upon  his 
death  the  power  only  of  nominating  a  successor 
to  return  to  them  an  elective  monarchy.  And 
so  accordingly  of  these  the  community  may 
make  compounded  and  mixed  forms  of  govern- 
ment, as  they  think  good.  And  if  the  legisla- 
tive power  be  at  first  given  by  the  majority  to 
one  or  more  persons  only  for  their  lives,  or  any 
limited  time,  and  then  the  supreme  power  to 
revert  to  them  again;  when  it  is  so  reverted, 
the  community  may  dispose  of  it  again  anew 
into  what  hands  they  please,  and  so  constitute 
a  new  form  of  government :  for  the  form  of 
goverment  depending  upon  the  placing  the  su- 


preme  power,  which  is  the  legislative,  it  being 
impossible  to  conceive  that  an  inferior  power 
should  prescribe  to  a  superior,  or  any  but  the 
supreme  make  laws,  according1  as  the  power 
of  making  laws  is  placed,  such  is  the  form  of 
the  commonwealth. 

§.  133.  By  commonwealth,  I  must  be  under- 
stood all  along  to  mean,  not  a  democracy,  or 
any  form  of  government,  but  any  independent 
community,  which  the  Latins  signified  by  the 
word  civitas,  to  which  the  word  which  best 
answers  in  our  language,  is  commonwealth,  and 
most  properly  expresses  such  a  society  of  men, 
which  community  or  city  in  English  does  not; 
for  there  may  be  subordinate  communities  in  a 
government ;  and  city  amongst  us  has  a  quite 
different  notion  from  commonwealth :  and 
therefore  to  avoid  ambiguity,  I  crave  leave  to 
use  the  word  commonwealth  in  that  sense,  in 
which  I  find  it  used  by  king  James  the  first ; 
and  I  take  it  to  be  its  genuine  signification; 
which  if  any  body  dislike,  I  consent  with  him 
to  change  it  for  a  better. 


Of  the  Extent  of  the  Legislative  Power. 

§.  134.  The  great  end  of  men's  entering  into 
society,  being  the  enjoyment  of  their  properties 
in  peace  and  safety,  and  the  great  instrument 
and  means  of  that  being  the  laws  established  in 


that  society;  the first  and  fundamental  positive 
law  of  all  commonwealths  is  the  establishing  of 
the  legislative  power :  as  the  first  and  funda- 
mental natural  law,  which  is  to  govern  even  the 
legislative  itself,  is  the  preservation  of  the  society ; 
and  (as  far  as  will  consist  with  the  public 
good)  of  every  person  in  it.  This  legislative  is 
not  only  the  supreme  power  of  the  common- 
wealth, but  sacred  and  unalterable  in  the  hands 
where  the  community  have  once  placed  it :  nor 
can  any  edict  of  any  body  else,  in  what  form 
soever  conceived,  or  by  what  power  soever 
backed,  have  the  force  and  obligation  of  a  law, 
which  has  not  its  sanction  from  that  legislative 
which  the  public  has  chosen  and  appointed  : 
for  without  this  the  law  could  not  have  that, 
which  is  absolutely  necessary  to  its  being  a 
law,  *  the  consent  of  the  society,  over  whom  no 
body  can  have  a  power  to  make  laws,  but  by 
their  own  consent,  and  by  authority  received 

*  The  lawful  power  of  making  laws  to  command  whole 
politic  societies  of  men,  belonging  so  properly  unto  the 
same  intire  societies,  that  for  any  prince  or  potentate  of  what 
kind  soever  upon  earth,  to  exercise  the  same  of  himself,  and 
not  by  express  commission  immediately  and  personnally  re- 
ceived from  God,  or  else  by  authority  derived  at  the  first 
from  their  consent,  upon  whose  persons  they  impose  laws, 
it  is  no  better  than  mere  tyranny.  Laws  they  are  not  there- 
fore which  public  approbation  hath  not  made  so.  Hooker's 
Eccl.  Pol.  I.  i.  sect.  10.  Of  this  point  therefore  we  are  to 
note,  that  sith  men  naturally  have  no  full  and  perfect  power 
to  command  whole  politic  multitudes  of  men,  therefore  utter- 
ly without  our  consent,  we  could  in  such  sort  be  at  no  man's 


from  them ;  and  therefore  all  the  obedience, 
which  by  the  most  solemn  ties  any  one  can  be 
obliged  to  pay,  ultimately  terminates  in  this 
supreme  power,  and  is  directed  by  those  laws 
which  it  enacts :  nor  can  any  oaths  to  any  foreign 
power  whatsoever,  or  any  domestic  subordinate 
power,  discharge  any  member  of  the  society 
from  his  obedience  to  the  legislative,  acting  pur- 
suant to  their  trust :  nor  oblige  him  to  any 
obedience  contrary  to  the  laws  so  enacted,  or 
farther  than  they  do  allow ;  it  being  ridiculous 
to  imagine  one  can  be  tied  ultimately  to  obey 
any  power  in  the  society,  which  is  not  the 

\.  135.  Though  the  legislative,  whether  placed 
in  one  or  more,  whether  it  be  always  in  being,  or 
or  only  by  intervals,  though  it  be  the  supreme 
power  in  every  commonwealth  ;  yet, 

First,  It  is  not,  nor  can  possibly  be  abso- 
lutely arbitrary  over  the  lives  and  fortunes  of 
the  people:  for  it  being  but  the  joint  power  of 
every  member  of  the  society  given  up  to  that 
person  or  assembly,  which  is  legislator ;  it  can 
be  no  more  than  those  persons  had  in  a  state 
of  nature  before  they  entered  into  society,  and 
gave  up  to  the  community :  for  no  body  can 
transfer  to  another  more  power  than  he  has  in 

command ment  living.  And  to  be  commanded  we  do  consent, 
when  that  society,  whereof  we  be  a  part,  hath  at  any  time 
before  consented,  without  revoking  the  same  after  by  the  like 
universal  agreement. 

Laws  therefore  human,  of  what  kind  so  ever,  are  available 
bv  consent.     Ibid. 


himself;  and  no  body  has  an  absolute  arbitrary 
power  over  himself,  or  over  any  other,  to  de- 
stroy his  own  life,  or  take  away  the  life  or  pro- 
perty of  another.  A  man,  as  has  been  proved, 
cannot  subject  himself  to  the  arbitrary  power 
of  another ;  and  having  in  the  state  of  nature 
no  arbitrary  power  over  the  life,  liberty,  or 
possession  of  another,  but  only  so  much  as  the 
law  of  nature  gave  him  for  the  preservation  of 
himself,  and  the  rest  of  mankind  ;  this  is  all  he 
doth,  or  can  give  up  to  the  commonwealth,  and 
by  it  to  the  legislative  power,  so  that  the  legis- 
lative can  have  no  more  than  this.  Their 
power,  in  the  utmost  bounds  of  it,  is  limited  to 
the  public  good  of  the  society.  It  is  a  power, 
that  hath  no  other  end  but  preservation,  and 
therefore  can  never*  have  a  right  to   destroy, 

*  Two  foundations  there  are  which  bear  up  public  socie- 
ties ;  the  one  a  natural  inclination,  whereby  all  men  desire 
sociable  life  and  fellowship  ;  the  other  an  order,  expressly  or 
secretly  agreed  upon,  touching  the  manner  of  their  union  in 
living  together:  the  latter  is  that  which  we  call  the  law  of 
a  common-weal,  the  very  soul  of  a  politic  body,  the  parts 
whereof  are  by  law  animated,  held  together,  and  set  on  work 
in  such  actions  as  the  common  good  requireth.  Laws  poli- 
tic, ordained  for  external  order  and  regiment  amongst  men, 
are  never  framed  as  they  should  be,  unless  presuming  tire 
will  of  man  to  be  inwardly  obstinate,  rebellious,  and  averse 
from  all  obedience  to  the  sacred  laws  of  his  nature  ;  in  a 
word,  unless  presuming  man  to  be,  in  regard  of  his  depraved 
mind,  little  better  than  a  wild  beast,  they  do  accordingly 
provide,  notwithstanding,  so  to  frame  his  outward  actions, 
that  they  be  no  hindrance  unto  the  common  good,  for  which 
societies  are  instituted.  Unless  they  do  this,  they  are  not 
perfect.     Hookers  Eccl.  Pol.  L  i.  sect.  10. 


enslave,  or  designedly  to  impoverish  the  sub- 
jects. The  obligations  of  the  law  of  nature 
cease  not  in  society,  but  only  in  many  cases 
are  drawn  closer,  and  have  by  human  laws 
known  penalties  annexed  to  them,  to  inforce 
their  observation.  Thus  the  law  of  nature 
stands  as  an  eternal  rule  to  all  men,  legislators 
as  well  as  others.  The  rules  that  they  make 
for  other  men's  actions,  must,  as  well  as  their 
own  and  other  men's  actions,  be  conformable 
to  the  law  of  nature,  i.  e.  to  the  will  of  God, 
of  which  that  is  a  declaration,  and  the  funda- 
mental law  of  nature  being  the  preservation  of 
mankind,  no  human  sanction  can  be  good,  or 
valid  against  it. 

§.  136.  Secondly,  *  The  legislative,  or  su- 
preme authority,  cannot  assume  to  itself  a 
power  to  rule  by  extemporary  arbitrary  decrees, 
but  is  bound  to  dispense  justice,  and  decide  the 
rights  of  the  subject  by  promulgated  standing 
laws,  and  known  authorized  judges :  for  the  law 
of  nature  being  unwritten,  and  so  no  where 
to  be  found  but  in  the  minds  of  men,  they  who 

•  Human  laws  are  measures  in  respect  of  men  whose  actions 
they  must  direct,  howbeit  such  measures  they  are  as  have 
also  their  higher  rules  to  be  measured  by,  which  rules  are 
two,  the  law  of  God,  and  the  law  of  nature  ;  so  that  laws 
human  must  be  made  according  to  the  general  laws  of  nature, 
and  without  contradiction  to  any  positive  law  of  scripture, 
otherwise  they  are  ill  made.   Hooker  s  Eccl.  Pol.  I.  hi.  sect.  9. 

To  constrain  men  to  any  thing  inconvenient  doth  seem 
unreasonable.     Ibid.  I.  i.  sect.  10. 



through  passion  or  interest  shall  miscite,  or 
misapply  it,  cannot  so  easily  be  convinced  of 
their  mistake  where  there  is  no  established 
judge :  and  so  it  serves  not,  as  it  ought,  to 
determine  the  rights,  and  fence  the  properties 
of  those  that  live  under  it,  especially  where 
every  one  is  judge,  interpreter,  and  executioner 
of  it  too,  and  that  in  his  own  case :  and  he 
that  has  right  on  his  side,  having  ordinarily 
but  his  own  single  strength,  hath  not  force 
enough  to  defend  himself  from  injuries,  or  to 
punish  delinquents.  To  avoid  these  inconve- 
niencies,  which  disorder  men's  properties  in 
the  state  of  nature,  men  unite  into  societies, 
that  they  may  have  the  united  strength  of  the 
whole  society  to  secure  and  defend  their  pro- 
perties, and  may  have  standing  rules  to  bound 
it,  by  which  every  one  may  know  what  is  his. 
To  this  end  it  is  that  men  give  up  all  their 
natural  power  to  the  society  which  they  enter 
into,  and  the  community  put  the  legislative 
power  into  such  hands  as  they  think  fit,  with 
this  trust,  that  they  shall  be  governed  by  de- 
clared laws,  or  else  their  peace,  quiet,  and  pro- 
perty will  still  be  at  the  same  uncertainty,  as  it 
was  in  the  state  of  nature. 

§.  137.  Absolute  arbitrary  power,  or  govern- 
ing without  settled  standing  laws,  can  neither 
of  them  consist  with  the  ends  of  society  and 
government,  which  men  would  not  quit  the 
freedom  of  the  state  of  nature  for,  and  tie 
themselves  up  under,  were  it  not  to  preserve 


their  lives,  liberties  and  fortunes,  and  by  slated 
rules  of  right  and  property  to  secure  their 
peace  and  quiet.  It  cannot  be  supposed  that 
they  should  intend,  had  they  a  power  so  to  do, 
to  give  any  one,  or  more,  an  absolute  arbitrary 
•power  over  their  persons  and  estates,  and  put  a 
force  into  the  magistrate's  hand  to  execute  his 
unlimited  will  arbitrary  upon  them.  This  were 
to  put  themselves  into  a  worse  condition  than 
the  state  of  nature,  wherein  they  had  a  liberty 
to  defend  their  right  against  the  injuries  of 
others,  and  were  upon  equal  terms  of  force  to 
maintain  it,  whether  invaded  by  a  single  man, 
or  many  in  combination.  Whereas  by  suppo- 
sing they  have  given  up  themselves  to  the 
absolute  arbitrary  power  and  will  of  a  legislator, 
they  have  disarmed  themselves,  and  armed 
him,  to  make  a  prey  of  them  when  he  pleases ; 
he  being  in  a  much  worse  condition,  who  is 
exposed  to  the  arbitrary  power  of  one  man, 
who  has  the  command  of  100,000,  than  he 
that  is  exposed  to  the  arbitrary  power  of 
100,000  single  men ;  no  body  being  secure, 
that  his  will,  who  has  such  a  command,  is 
better  than  that  of  other  men,  though  his  force 
be  100,000  times  stronger.  And  therefore, 
whatever  form  the  commonwealth  is  under, 
the  ruling  power  ought  to  govern  by  declared 
and  received  laws,  and  not  by  extemporary 
dictates  and  undetermined  resolutions:  for 
then  mankind  will  be  in  a  far  worse  condition 
than  in  the  state  of  nature,  if  they  shall  have 

x  -2 


armed  one,  or  a  few  men  with  the  joint  power 
of  a  multitude,  to  force  them  to  obey  at  plea- 
sure the  exorbitant  and  unlimited  decrees  of 
their  sudden  thoughts,  or  unrestrained,  and  till 
that  moment  unknown  wills,  without  having 
any  measures  set  down  which  may  guide  and 
justify  their  actions :  for  all  the  power  the 
government  has,  being  only  for  the  good  of  the 
society,  as  it  ought  not  to  be  arbitrary  and  at 
pleasure,  so  it  ought  to  be  exercised  by  esta- 
blished and  promulgated  laws;  that  both  the 
people  may  know  their  duty,  and  be  safe  and 
secure  within  the  limits  of  the  law ;  and  the 
rulers  too  kept  within  their  bounds,  and  not  be 
tempted,  by  the  power  they  have  in  their  hands, 
to  employ  it  to  such  purposes,  and  by  such 
measures,  as  they  would  not  have  known,  and 
own  not  willingly. 

§.  138.  Thirdly,  The  supreme  power  cannot 
take  from  any  man  any  part  of  his  property 
without  his  own  consent:  for  the  preservation 
of  property  being  the  end  of  government,  and 
that  for  which  men  enter  into  society,  it  neces- 
sarily supposes  and  requires,  that  the  people 
should  have  property,  without  which  they  must 
be  supposed  to  lose  that,  by  entering  into 
society,  which  was  the  end  for  which  they 
entered  into  it ;  too  gross  an  absurdity  for  any 
man  to  own.  Men  therefore  in  society  having 
property,  they  have  such  a  right  to  the  goods, 
which  by  the  law  of  the  community  are  theirs, 
that  nobody  hath    a  right  to  take  their  sub- 


stance  or  any  part  of  it  from  them,  without 
their  own  consent :  without  this  they  have  no 
property  at  all ;  for  I  have  truly  no  property  in 
that,  wich  another  can  by  right  take  from  me, 
when  he  pleases,  against  my  consent.  Hence 
it  is  a  mistake  to  think,  that  the  supreme  or 
legislative  power  of  any  commonwealth  can  do 
what  it  will,  and  dispose  of  the  estates  of  the 
subject  arbitrarily,  or  take  any  part  of  them 
at  pleasure.  This  is  not  much  to  be  feared 
in  governments  where  the  legislative  consists, 
wholly  or  in  part,  in  assemblies  which  are 
variable,  whose  members,  upon  the  dissolution 
of  the  assembly,  are  subjects  under  the  com- 
mon laws  of  their  country,  equally  with  the 
rest.  But  in  governments,  where  the  legislative 
is  in  one  lasting  assembly  always  in  being,  or 
in  one  man,  as  in  absolute  monarchies,  there 
is  danger  still,  that  they  will  think  themselves 
to  have  a  distinct  interest  from  the  rest  of  the 
community ;  and  so  will  be  apt  to  increase 
their  own  riches  and  power,  by  taking  what 
they  think  fit  from  the  people :  for  a  man's 
property  is  not  at  all  secure,  though  there  be 
good  and  equitable  laws  to  set  the  bounds  of 
it  between  him  and  his  fellow-subjects,  if  he 
who  commands  those  subjects  have  power  to 
take  from  any  private  man,  what  part  he 
pleases  of  his  property,  and  use  and  dispose  of 
it  as  he  thinks  good. 

§.    139.    But    government,    into   whatsoever 
hands  it  is  put,  being,  as  I  have  before  shewed, 


intrusted  with  this  condition,  and  for  this  end, 
that  men  might  have  and  secure  their  proper- 
ties;   the  prince,  or  senate,    however  it  may 
have  power  to  make  laws,  for  the  regulating 
of  property  between  the  subjects  one  amongst 
another,  yet  can  never  have  a  power  to  take  to 
themselves  the  whole,  or  any  part  of  the  sub- 
jects property,  without  their  own  consent:  for 
this  would  be  in  effect  to  leave  them  no  pro- 
perty at   all.     And   to   let   us    see,  that  even 
absolute  power,  where  it  is  necessary,  is  not 
arbitrary  by  being  absolute,  but  is  still  limited 
by  that  reason,   and  confined  to  those  ends, 
which  required  it  in  some  cases  to  be  absolute, 
we   need   look   no   farther  than  the   common 
practice  of  martial  discipline:    for  the  preser- 
vation of  the  army,    and  in  it  of  the    whole 
commonwealth,  requires  an  absolute  obedience 
to  the  command  of  every  superior  officer,  and 
it  is  justly  death  to  disobey  or  dispute  the  most 
dangerous  or  unreasonable  of  them ;  but  yet 
we  see,  that  neither  the  serjeant,   that  could 
command  a  soldier  to  march  up  to  the  mouth 
of  a  cannon,  or  stand  in  a  breach,  where  he  is 
almost  sure  to  perish,  can  command  that  sol- 
dier to  give  him  one  penny  of  his  money ;  nor 
the  general,  that  can    condemn  him  to  death 
for  deserting  his  post,  or  for  not  obeying  the 
most  desperate  orders,  can    yet,  with  all  his 
absolute  power   of  life  and    death,   dispose  of 
one    farthing  of  that  soldier's  estate,  or  seize 
one  jot  of  his  goods ;  whom  yet  he  can  com- 

OF    CIVIL    GOVERNMENT.  .'ill 

maud  any  thing-,  and  hang  for  the  least  dis- 
obedience; because  such  a  blind  obedience 
is  necessary  to  that  end,  for  which  the  com- 
mander has  his  power,  viz.  the  preservation  of 
the  rest;  but  the  disposing  of  his  goods  has 
nothing  to  do  with  it. 

§.  140.  It  is  true,  governments  cannot  be 
supported  without  great  charge,  and  it  is  lit 
every  one  who  enjoys  his  share  of  the  protec- 
tion should  pay  out  of  his  estate  his  proportion 
for  the  maintenance  of  it.  But  still  it  must  be 
with  his  own  consent,  i.  e.  the  consent  of  the 
majority,  giving  it  either  by  themselves,  or  their 
representatives  chosen  by  them :  for  if  any  one 
shall  claim  a  power  to  lay  and  levy  taxes  on  the 
people,  by  his  own  authority,  and  without  such 
consent  of  the  people,  he  thereby  invades  the 
fundamental  law  of  property,  and  subverts  the 
end  of  government :  for  what  property  have  I 
in  that,  which  another  may  by  right  take,  when 
he  pleases,  to  himself? 

§.  141.  Fourthly,  The  legislative  cannot 
transfer  the  power  of  making  laws  to  any  other 
hands  :  for  it  being  but  a  delegated  power  from 
the  people,  they  who  have  it  cannot  pass  it 
over  to  others.  The  people  alone  can  appoint 
the  form  of  the  commonwealth,  which  is  by 
constituting  the  legislative,  and  appointing  in 
whose  hands  that  shall  be.  And  when  the 
people  have  said,  We  will  submit  to  rules,  and 
be  governed  by  laws  made  by  such  men,  and 
in  such  forms,  no  bodv  else  can  say  other  men 


shall  make  laws  for  them ;  nor  can  the  people 
be  bound  by  any  laws,  but  such  as  are  enacted 
by  those  whom  they  have  chosen,  and  autho- 
rized to  make  laws  for  them.  The  power  of 
the  legislative,  being  derived  from  the  people 
by  a  positive  voluntary  grant  and  institution, 
can  be  no  other  than  what  that  positive  grant 
conveyed,  which  being  only  to  make  laivs,  and 
not  to  make  legislators,  the  legislative  can  have 
no  power  to  transfer  their  authority  of  making 
laws,  and  place  it  in  other  hands. 

§.  142.  These  are  the  bounds,  which  the 
trust,  that  is  put  in  them  by  the  society,  and 
the  law  of  God  and  nature,  have  set  to  the  legis- 
lative power  of  every  commonwealth,  in  all 
forms  of  government. 

First,  they  are  to  govern  by  promulgated 
established  laics,  not  to  be  varied  in  particular 
cases,  but  to  have  one  rule  for  rich  and  poor, 
for  the  favourite  at  court,  and  the  country  man 
at  plough. 

Secondly,  These  laws  also  ought  to  be  de- 
signed  for  no  other  end  ultimately,  but  the  good 
of  the  people. 

Thirdly,  they  must  not  raise  Taxes  on  the 
property  of  the  people,  without  the  consent  of  the 
people,  given  by  themselves,  or  their  deputies. 
And  this  properly  concerns  only  such  govern- 
ments, where  the  legislative  is  always  in  being, 
or  at  least  where  the  people  have  not  reserved 
any  part  of  the  legislative  to  deputies,  to  be 
from  time  to  time  chosen  bv  themselves. 


Fourthly,  the  legislative  neither  must  nor  can 
transfer  the  power  of  making  laws  to  any  body 
else,  or  place  it  any  where,  but  where  the 
people  have. 


Of  the  Legislative,  Executive,  and  Federative 
Power  of  the  Commonwealth. 

§.  143.  The  legislative  power  is  that,  which 
has  a  right  to  direct  how  the  force  of  the  com- 
monwealth shall  be  employed  for  preserving 
the  community  and  members  of  it.  But  because 
those  laws  which  are  constantly  to  be  executed, 
and  whose  force  is  always  to  continue,  may  be 
made  in  a  little  time ;  therefore  there  is  no 
need,  that  the  legislative  should  be  always  in 
being,  not  having  always  business  to  do.  And 
because  it  may  be  too  great  a  temptation  to 
human  frailty,  apt  to  grasp  at  power,  for  the 
same  persons,  who  have  the  power  of  making- 
laws,  to  have  also  in  their  hands  the  power  to 
execute  them, whereby  they  may  exempt  them- 
selves from  obedience  to  the  laws  they  make, 
and  suit  the  law,  both  in  its  making,  and  execu- 
tion, to  their  own  private  advantage,  and  thereby 
come  to  have  a  distinct  interest  from  the  rest 
of  the  community,  contrary  to  the  end  of 
society  and  government:  therefore  in  well- 
ordered  commonwealths,  where  the  good  of 
the    whole  is  so  considered,   as   it  ought,  the 


legislative  power  is  put  into  the  hands  of  divers 
persons,  who  duly  assembled,  have  by  them- 
selves, or  jointly  with  others,  a  power  to  make 
laws,  which  when  they  have  done,  being  sepa- 
rated again,  they  are  themselves  subject  to  the 
laws  they  have  made ;  which  is  a  new  and  near 
tie  upon  them,  to  take  care,  that  they  make 
them  for  the  public  good. 

§.  144.  But  because  the  laws,  that  are  at 
once,  and  in  a  short  time  made,  have  a  constant 
and  lasting  force,  and  need  a  perpetual  execu- 
tion, or  an  attendance  thereunto  ;  therefore  it 
is  necessary  there  should  be  a  power  always 
in  being,  which  should  see  to  the  execution 
of  the  laws  that  are  made,  and  remain  in 
force.  And  thus  the  legislative  and  executive 
power  come  often  to  be  separated. 

§.  145.  There  is  another  power  in  every 
commonwealth*  which  one  may  call  natural, 
because  it  is  that  which  answers  to  the  power 
every  man  naturally  had  before  he  entered  into 
society :  for  though  in  a  commonwealth  the 
members  of  it  are  distinct  persons  still  in  refer- 
ence to  one  another,  and  as  such  are  governed 
by  the  laws  of  the  society;  yet  in  reference  to 
the  rest  of  mankind,  they  make  one  body, 
which  is,  as  every  member  of  it  before  was, 
stilt  in  the  state  of  nature  with  the  rest  of  man- 
kind. Hence  it  is,  that  the  controversies  that 
happen  between  any  man  of  the  society  with 
those  that  are  out  of  it,  are  managed  by  the 
public;  and   an    injury  done  to  a  member  of 


their  body,  engages  the  whole  in  the  reparation 
of  it.  So  that  under  this  consideration,  the 
whole  community  is  one  body  in  the  state  of 
nature,  in  respect  of  all  other  states  or  persons 
out  of  its  community. 

§.  146.  This  therefore  contains  the  power  of 
war  and  peace,  leagues  and  alliances,  and  all 
the  transactions,  with  all  persons  and  commu- 
nities without  the  commonwealth,  and  may  be 
called  federative,  if  any  one  pleases.  So  the 
thing  be  understood,  I  am  indifferent  as  to  the 

§.  147.  These  two  powers,  executive  and 
federative,  though  they  be  really  distinct  in 
themselves,  yet  one  comprehending  the  execu- 
tion of  the  municipal  laws  of  the  society  within 
itself,  upon  all  that  are  parts  of  it ;  the  other  the 
management  of  the  security  and  interest  of  the 
public  without,  with  all  those  that  it  may  receive 
benefit  or  damage  from,  yet  they  are  always 
almost  united.  And  though  this  federative 
power  in  the  well  or  ill  management  of  it  be  of 
great  moment  to  the  commonwealth,  yet  it  is 
much  less  capable  to  be  directed  by  antecedent, 
standing,  positive  laws,  than  the  executive ; 
and  so  must  necessarily  be  left  to  the  prudence 
and  wisdom  of  those,  whose  hands  it  is  in,  to 
be  managed  for  the  public  good  :  for  the  laws 
that  concern  subjects  one  amongst  another, 
being  to  direct  their  actions,  may  well  enough 
precede  them.  But  what  is  to  be  done  iu  refer- 
ence to  foreigners,  depending  much  upon  their 


actions,  and  the  variation  of  designs  and 
interests,  must  be  left  in  great  part  to  the  pru- 
dence of  those,  who  have  this  power  committed 
to  them,  to  be  managed  by  the  best  of  their 
skill,  for  the  advantage  of  the  commonwealth. 
§.  148.  Though,  as  I  said,  the  executive  and 
federative  power  of  every  community  be  really 
distinct  in  themselves,  yet  they  are  hardly  to  be 
separated,  and  placed  at  the  same  time,  in  the 
hands  of  distinct  persons  :  for  both  of  them  re- 
quiring the  force  of  the  society  for  their  exer- 
cise, it  is  almost  impracticable  to  place  the  force 
of  the  commonwealth  in  distinct,  and  not  sub- 
ordinate hands  ;  or  that  the  executive  and  fede- 
rative power  should  be  placed  in  persons,  that 
might  act  separately,  whereby  the  force  of  the 
public  would  be  under  different  commands : 
which  would  be  apt  some  time  or  other  to  cause 
disorder  and  ruin. 


Of  the  Subordination    of  the  Powers   of  the 

§.  149.  Though  in  a  constituted  common- 
wealth, standing  upon  its  own  basis,  and  acting 
according  to  its  own  nature,  that  is,  acting  for 
the  preservation  of  the  community,  there  can 
be  but  one  supreme  power,  which  is  the  legis- 
lative, to  which  all  the  rest  are  and  must  be 
subordinate,   yet  the   legislative   being  only  a 


fiduciary  power  to  act  for  certain  ends,  there 
remains  still  in  the  people  a  supreme  power  to 
remove  or  alter  the  legislative,  when  they  find 
the  legislative  act  contrary  to  the  trust  reposed 
in  them  :  for  all  power  given  with  trust  for  the 
attaining  an  end,  being-  limited  by  that  end, 
whenever  that  end  is  manifestly  neglected,  or 
opposed,  the  trust  must  necessarily  he  forfeited, 
and  the  power  devolve  into  the  hands  of  those 
that  gave  it,  who  may  place  it  anew  where  they 
shall  think  best  for  their  safety  and  security. 
And  thus  the  community  perpetually  retains  a 
supreme  power  of  saving  themselves  from  the 
attempts  and  designs  of  any  body,  even  of  their 
legislators,  whenever  they  shall  be  so  foolish, 
or  so  wicked,  as  to  lay  and  carry  on  designs 
against  the  liberties  and  properties  of  the  sub- 
ject :  for  no  man  or  society  of  men,  having  a 
power  to  deliver  up  their  preservation,  or  con- 
sequently the  means  of  it,  to  the  absolute  will 
and  arbitrary  dominion  of  another  ;  whenever 
any  one  shall  go  about  to  bring  them  into  such 
a  slavish  condition,  they  will  always  have  a 
right  to  preserve  what  they  have  not  a  power  to 
part  with :  and  to  rid  themselves  of  those  who 
invade  this  fundamental,  sacred,  and  unalter- 
able law  of  self-preservation,  for  which  they  en- 
tered into  society.  And  thus  the  community 
may  be  said  in  this  respect  to  be  always  the  su- 
preme power,  but  not  as  considered  under  any 
form  of  government,  because  this  power  of  the 
people  can  never  take  place  till  the  government 
be  dissolved. 


§.  150.  In  all  cases,  whilst  the  government 
subsists,  the  legislative  is  the  supreme  power: 
for  what  can  give  laws  to  another,  must  needs 
be  superior  to  him  ;  and  since  the  legislative  is 
no  otherwise  legislative  of  the  society,  but  by 
the  right  it  has  to  make  laws  for  all  the  parts, 
and  for  every  member  of  the  society,  prescrib- 
ing rules  to  their  actions,  and  giving  power  of 
execution,  where  they  are  transgressed,  the 
legislative  must  needs  be  the  supreme,  and  all 
other  powers,  in  any  members  or  parts  of  the 
society,  derived  from  and  subordinate  to  it. 

§.  151.  In  some  commonwealths,  where  the 
legislative  is  not  always  in  being,  and  the  execu- 
tive is  vested  in  a  single  person,  who  has  also  a 
share  in  the  legislative ;  there  that  single  person 
in  a  very  tolerable  sense  may  also  be  called 
supreme  :  not  that  he  has  in  himself  all  the  su- 
preme power,  which  is  that  of  law-making ;  but 
because  he  has  in  him  the  supreme  execution, 
from  whom  all  inferior  magistrates  derive  all 
their  several  subordinate  powers,  or  at  least  the 
greatest  part  of  them  :  having  also  no  legisla- 
tive superior  to  him,  there  being  no  law  to  be 
made  without  his  consent,  which  cannot  be 
expected  should  ever  subject  him  to  the  other 
part  of  the  legislative,  he  is  properly  enough  in 
this  sense  supreme.  But  yet  it  is  to  be  observed 
that  though  oaths  of  allegiance  and  fealty  are 
taken  to  him,  it  is  not  to  him  as  supreme  legis- 
lator, but  as  supreme  executor  of  the  law,  made 
by  a  joint  power  of  him  with  others  ;  allegiance 


being  nothing  but  an  obedience  according-  to  law, 
which  when  he  violates,  he  has  no  right  to  obe- 
dience, nor  can  claim  it  otherwise  than  as  the 
public  person  vested  with  the  power  of  the  law, 
and  so  is  to  be  considered  as  the  image, 
phantom,  or  representative  of  the  common- 
wealth, acted  by  the  will  of  the  society,  de- 
clared in  its  laws  ;  and  thus  he  has  no  will,  no 
power,  but  that  of  the  law.  But  when  he  quits 
this  representation,  this  public  will,  and  acts  by 
his  own  private  will,  he  degrades  himself,  and 
is  but  a  single  private  person  without  power, 
and  without  will,  that  has  any  right  to  obedience; 
the  members  owing  no  obedience  but  to  the 
public  will  of  the  society. 

§.  152.  The  executive  power,  placed  any- 
where but  in  a  person  that  has  also  a  share  in 
the  legislative,  is  visibly  subordinate  and  ac- 
countable to  it,  and  may  be  at  pleasure  changed 
and  displaced  ;  so  that  it  is  not  the  supreme 
executive  power,  that  is  exempt  from  subordi- 
nation, but  the  supreme  executive  power  vested 
in  one,  who  having  a  share  in  the  legislative, 
has  no  distinct  superior  legislative  to  be  sub- 
ordinate and  accountable  to,  farther  than  he 
himself  shall  join  and  consent ;  so  that  he  is  no 
more  subordinate  than  he  himself  shall  think 
fit,  which  one  may  certainly  conclude  will  be 
but  very  little.  Of  other  ministerial  and  subor- 
dinate powers  in  a  commonwealth,  we  need  not 
speak,  they  being  so  multiplied  with  infinite 
variety,  in  the  different  customs  and  constitu- 


tions  of  distinct  commonwealths,  that  it  is  im- 
possible to  give  a  particular  account  of  them 
all.  Only  thus  much,  which  is  necessary  to 
our  present  purpose,  we  may  take  notice  of 
concerning  them,  that  they  have  no  manner  of 
authority,  any  of  them,  beyond  what  is  by 
positive  grant  and  commission  delegated  to 
them,  and  are  all  of  them  accountable  to  some 
other  power  in  the  commonwealth. 

§.  153.  It  is  not  necessary,  no,  nor  so  much 
as  convenient,  that  the  legislative  should 
be  always  in  being;  but  absolutely  neces- 
sary that  the  executive  power  should,  because 
there  is  not  always  need  of  new  laws  to  be 
made,  but  always  need  of  execution  of  the 
laws  that  are  made.  When  the  legislative 
hath  put  the  execution  of  the  laws,  they  make, 
into  other  hands,  they  have  a  power  still  to 
resume  it  out  of  those  hands,  when  they  find 
cause,  and  to  punish  for  any  mal- ad  ministration 
against  the  laws.  The  same  holds  also  in 
regard  of  the  federative  power,  that  and  the 
executive  being  both  ministerial  and  subordinate 
to  the  legislative,  which,  as  has  been  shewed,  in 
a  constituted  commonwealth  is  the  supreme. 
The  legislative  also  in  this  case  being  supposed 
to  consist  of  several  persons,  (for  if  it  be  a 
single  person,  it  cannot  but  be  always  in  being, 
and  so  will,  as  supreme,  naturally  have  the 
supreme  executive  power,  together  with  the 
legislative)  may  assemble,  and  exercise  their 
legislature,  at  the  times  that  either  their  original 


constitution,  or  their  own  adjournment,  appoints, 
or  when  they  please ;  if  neither  of  these  hath 
appointed  any  time,  or  there  be  no  other  way 
prescribed  to  convoke  them :  for  the  supreme 
power  being-  placed  in  them  by  the  people,  it 
is  always  in  them,  and  they  may  exercise  it 
when  they  please,  unless  by  their  original  con- 
stitution, they  are  limited  to  certain  seasons, 
or  by  an  act  of  their  supreme  power  they  have 
adjourned  to  a  certain  time ;  and  when  that 
time  comes,  they  have  a  right  to  assemble  and 
act  again. 

§.  154.  If  the  legislative,  or  any  part  of  it,  be 
made  up  of  representatives  chosen  for  that  time 
by  the  people,  which  afterwards  return  into  the 
ordinary  state  of  subjects,  and  have  no  share  in 
the  legislature  but  upon  a  new  choice,  this 
power  of  ch using  must  also  be  exercised  by 
the  people,  either  at  certain  appointed  seasons, 
or  else  when  they  are  summoned  to  it;  and 
in  this  latter  case,  the  power  of  convoking  the 
legislative  is  ordinarily  placed  in  the  executive, 
and  has  one  of  these  two  limitations  in  respect 
of  time  :  that  either  the  original  constitution 
requires  their  assembling  and  acting  at  certain 
intervals,  and  then  the  executive  power  does 
nothing  but  ministerially  issue  directions  for 
their  electing  and  assembling,  according  to 
due  forms ;  or  else  it  is  left  to  his  prudence  to 
call  them  by  new  elections,  when  the  occasions 
or  exigencies  of  the  public  require  the  amend- 
ment of  old,  or  making  of  new  laws,  or  the  re- 



dress  or  prevention  of  any  inconveniencies,  that 
lie  on,  or  threaten  the  people. 

§.  155.  It  may  be  demanded  here,  What  if 
the  executive  power,  being  possessed  of  the 
force  of  the  commonwealth,  shall  make  use  of 
that  force  to  hinder  the  meeting  and  acting  of 
the  legislative,  when  the  original  constitution, 
or  the  public  exigencies  require  it?  I  say, 
using  force  upon  the  people  without  authority, 
and  contrary  to  the  trust  put  in  him  that  does 
so,  is  a  state  of  war  with  the  people,  who  have 
aright  to  reinstate  their  legislative  in  the  exercise 
of  their  power :  for  having  erected  a  legislative, 
with  an  intent  they  should  exercise  the  power 
of  making  laws,  either  at  certain  set  times,  or 
when  there  is  need  of  it,  when  they  are  hin- 
dered by  any  force  from  what  is  so  necessary 
to  the  society,  and  wherein  the  safety  and 
preservation  of  the  people  consists,  the  people 
have  a  right  to  remove  it  by  force.  In  all 
state  and  conditions,  the  true  remedy  of  force 
without  authority,  is  to  oppose  force  to  it. 
The  use  of  force  without  authority  always  puts 
him  that  uses  it  into  a  state  of  tear,  as  the  ag- 
gressor, and  renders  him  liable  to  be  treated  ac- 

<§.  156.  The  poiver  of  assembling  and  dismis- 
sing the  legislative,  placed  in  the  executive, 
gives  not  the  executive  a  superiority  over  it,  but 
is  a  fiduciary  trust  placed  in  him,  for  the  safety 
of  the  people,  in  a  case  where  the  uncertainty 
and  variableness  of  human  affairs  could  not 
bear   a   steady    fixed    rule:    for   it   not    being 


possible,  that  the  first  framers  of  the  govern- 
ment should,  by  any  foresight,  be  so  much 
masters  of  future  events,  as  to  be  able  to  prefix 
so  just  periods  of  return  and  duration  to  the 
assemblies  of  the  legislative,  in  all  times  to 
come,  that  might  exactly  answer  all  the  exi- 
gencies of  the  commonwealth ;  the  best  reme- 
dy could  be  found  for  this  defect,  was  to  trust 
this  to  the  prudence  of  one  who  was  always 
to  be  present,  and  whose  business  it  was  to 
watch  over  the  public  good.  Constant  fre- 
quent meetings  of  the  legislative,  and  long  con- 
tinuations of  their  assemblies,  without  neces- 
sary occasion,  could  not  but  be  burdensome 
to  the  people,  and  must  necessarily  in  time 
produce  more  dangerous  inconveniencies,  and 
yet  the  quick  turn  of  affairs  might  be  some- 
times such  as  to  need  their  present  help :  any 
delay  of  their  convening  might  endanger  the 
public ;  and  sometimes  too  their  business  might 
be  so  great,  that  the  limited  time  of  their 
sitting  might  be  too  short  for  their  work,  and 
rob  the  public  of  that  benefit  which  could  be 
had  only  from  their  mature  deliberation.  What 
then  could  be  done  in  this  case  to  prevent  the 
community  from  being  exposed  some  time  or 
other  to  eminent  hazard,  on  one  side  or  the 
other,  by  fixed  intervals  and  periods,  set  to  the 
meeting  and  acting  of  the  legislative,  but  to  in- 
trust it  to  the  prudence  of  some,  who  being 
present,  and  acquainted  with  the  state  of  pub- 
lic affairs,  might  make  use  of  this  prerogative 

y  2 


for  the  public  good?  and  where  else  could 
this  be  so  well  placed  as  in  his  hands,  who 
was  intrusted  with  the  execution  of  the  laws 
for  the  same  end  ?  Thus  supposing  the  regula- 
tion of  times  for  the  assembling  and  sitting  of 
the  legislative,  not  settled  by  the  original  con- 
stitution, it  naturally  fell  into  the  hands  of  the 
executive,  not  as  an  arbitrary  power  depend- 
ing on  his  good  pleasure,  but  with  this  trust 
always  to  have  it  exercised  only  for  the  public 
weal,  as  the  occurrences  of  times  and  change 
of  affairs  might  require.  Whether  settled  pe- 
riods of  their  convening,  or  a  liberty  left  to  the 
prince  for  convoking  the  legislative,  or  perhaps  a 
mixture  of  both,  hath  the  least  inconvenience 
attending  it,  it  is  not  my  business  here  to  en- 
quire, but  only  to  shew,  that  though  the  execu- 
tive power  may  have  the  prerogative  of  con- 
voking and  dissolving  such  conventions  of  the 
legislative,  yet  it  is  not  thereby  superior  to  it. 

§.  157.  Things  of  this  world  are  in  so  con- 
stant a  flux,  that  nothing  remains  long  in  the 
same  state.  Thus  people,  riches,  trade,  power, 
change  their  stations,  flourishing  mighty  cities 
come  to  ruin,  and  prove  in  time  neglected 
desolate  corners,  whilst  other  unfrequented 
places  grow  into  populous  countries,  filled  with 
wealth  and  inhabitants.  But  things  not  always 
changing  equally,  and  private  interest  often 
keeping  up  customs  and  privileges,  when  the 
reasons  of  them  are  ceased,  it  often  comes  to 
pass,  that  in  governments,  where  part  of  the 


legislative  consists  of  representatives  chosen  by 
the  people,  that  in  tract  of  time  this  represen- 
tation becomes  very  unequal  and  dispropor- 
tionate to  the  reasons  it  was  at  first  established 
upon.  To  what  gross  absurdities  the  follow- 
ing of  custom,  when  reason  has  left  it,  may 
lead,  we  may  be  satisfied,  when  we  see  the 
bare  name  of  a  town,  of  which  there  remains 
not  so  much  as  the  ruins,  where  scarce  so 
much  housing  as  a  sheepcote,  or  more  inhabi- 
tants than  a  shepherd  is  to  be  found,  sends  as 
many  representatives  to  the  grand  assembly  of 
law-makers,  as  a  whole  county  numerous  in 
people,  and  powerful  in  riches.  This  strangers 
stand  amazed  at,  and  every  one  must  confess 
needs  a  remedy;  though  most  think  it  hard 
to  find  one,  because  the  constitution  of  the 
legislative  being  the  original  and  supreme  act 
of  the  society,  antecedent  to  all  positive  laws 
in  it,  and  depending  wholly  on  the  people,  no 
inferior  power  can  alter  it.  And  therefore  the 
people,  when  the  legislative  is  once  constituted, 
having,  in  such  a  government  as  we  have  been 
speaking  of,  no  power  to  act  as  long  as  the  go- 
vernment stands  ;  this  inconvenience  is  thought 
incapable  of  a  remedy. 

§.  158.  Solus  populi  suprema  lex,  is  certainly 
so  just  and  fundamental  a  rule,  that  he,  who 
sincerely  follows  it,  cannot  dangerously  err.  If 
therefore  the  executive,  who  has  the  power  of 
convoking  the  legislative,  observing  rather  the 
true  proportion,  than  fashion  of  representation^ 


regulates,  not  by  old  custom,  but  true  reason, 
the  number  of  members,  in  all  places  that  have 
a  right  to  be  distinctly  represented,  which  no 
part  of  the  people  however  incorporated  can 
pretend  to,  but  in  proportion  to  the  assistance 
which  it  affords  to  the  public,  it  cannot  be 
judged  to  have  set  up  a  new  legislative,  but  to 
have  restored  the  old  and  true  one,  and  to  have 
rectified  the  disorders  which  succession  of  time 
had  insensibly,  as  well  as  inevitably  introduced : 
For  it  being  the  interest  as  well  as  intention  of 
the  people,  to  have  a  fair  and  equal  representa- 
tive; whoever  brings  it  nearest  to  that,  is  an 
undoubted  friend  to,  and  establisher  of  the 
government,  and  cannot  miss  the  consent  and 
approbation  of  the  community;  prerogative 
being  nothing  but  a  power,  in  the  hands  of  the 
prince,  to  provide  for  the  public  good,  in  such 
cases,  which  depending  upon  unforeseen  and 
uncertain  occurrences,  certain  and  unalterable 
laws  could  not  safely  direct;  whatsoever  shall 
be  done  manifestly  for  the  good  of  the  people, 
and  the  establishing  the  government  upon  its 
true  foundations,  is  and  always  will  be,  just 
prerogative.  The  power  of  erecting  new  corpo- 
rations, and  therewith  new  representatives, 
carries  with  it  a  supposition,  that  in  time  the 
measures  of  representation  might  vary,  and  those 
places  have  a  just  right  to  be  represented  which 
before  had  none ;  and  by  the  same  reason, 
those  cease  to  have  a  right,  and  be  too  incon- 
siderable   for  such    a  privilege,   which    before 


had  it.  'Tis  not  a  change  from  the  present 
state,  which  perhaps  corruption  or  decay  has 
introduced,  that  makes  an  inroad  upon  the 
government,  but  the  tendency  of  it  to  injure  or 
oppress  the  people,  and  to  set  up  one  part  or 
party,  with  a  distinction  from,  and  an  unequal 
subjection  of  the  rest.  Whatsoever  cannot  but 
be  acknowledged  to  be  of  advantage  to  the 
society,  and  people  in  general,  upon  just  and 
lasting  measures,  will  always,  when  done,  justify 
itself;  and  whenever  the  people  shall  chuse 
their  representatives  upon  just  and  undeniably 
equal  measures,  suitable  to  the  original  frame  ot 
the  government,  it  cannot  be  doubted  to  be  the 
will  and  act  of  the  society,  whoever  permitted 
or  caused  them  so  to  do. 



§.  159.  Where  the  legislative  and  executive 
power  are  in  distinct  hands,  (as  they  are  in  all 
moderated  monarchies,  and  well-framed  govern- 
ments) there  the  good  of  the  society  requires, 
that  several  things  should  be  left  to  the  discre- 
tion of  him  that  has  the  executive  power :  for  the 
legislators  not  being  able  to  foresee,  and 
provide  by  laws,  for  all  that  may  be  useful  to 
the  community,  the  executor  of  the  laws, 
having  the  power  in  his  hands,  has  by  the 
common  law  of  nature  a  right  to  make  use  of 


it  for  the  good  of  the  society,  in  many  cases, 
where  the  municipal  law  has  given  no  direction, 
till  the  legislative  can  conveniently  be  assembled 
to  provide  for  it.  Many  things  there  are,  which 
the  law  can  by  no  means  provide  for;  and  those 
must  necessarily  be  left  to  the  discretion  of  him 
that  has  the  executive  power  in  his  hands,  to 
be  ordered  by  him  as  the  public  good  and 
advantage  shall  require :  nay,  it  is  fit  that  the 
laws  themselves  should  in  some  cases  give  way 
to  the  executive  power,  or  rather  to  this  funda- 
mental law  of  nature  and  government,  viz. 
That  as  much  as  may  be  all  the  members  of  the 
society  are  to  be  preserved :  for  since  many 
accidents  may  happen,  wherein  a  strict  and 
rigid  observation  of  the  laws  may  do  harm ; 
(as  not  to  pull  down  an  innocent  man's  house 
to  stop  the  fire,  when  the  next  to  it  is  burning) 
and  a  man  may  come  sometimes  within  the 
reach  of  the  law,  which  makes  no  distinction 
of  persons,  by  an  action  that  may  deserve 
reward  and  pardon ;  'tis  fit  the  ruler  should 
have  a  power,  in  many  cases,  to  mitigate  the 
severity  of  the  law,  and  pardon  some  offenders: 
for  the  end  of  government  being  the  preserva- 
tion of  all,  as  much  as  may  be,  even  the  guilty 
are  to  be  spared,  where  it  can  prove  no  preju- 
dice to  the  innocent. 

§.  160.  This  power  to  act  according  to  dis- 
cretion, for  the  public  good,  without  the  pres- 
cription of  the  law,  and  sometimes  even  against 
it,  is  that  which  is  called  prerogative:  for  since 


in  some  governments  the  law-making  power  is 
not  always  in  being,  and  is  usually  too  nume- 
rous, and  so  too  slow,  for  the  dispatch  requi- 
site to  execution ;  and  because  also  it  is  im- 
possible to  foresee,  and  so  by  laws  to  provide 
for,  all  accidents  and  necessities  that  may  con- 
cern the  public,  or  to  make  such  laws  as  will 
do  no  harm,  if  they  are  executed  with  an  in- 
flexible rigour,  on  all  occasions,  and  upon 
all  persons  that  may  come  in  their  way ;  there- 
fore there  is  a  latitude  left  to  the  executive 
power,  to  do  many  things  of  choice  which  the 
laws  do  not  prescribe. 

§.  161.  This  power,  whilst  employed  for  the 
benefit  of  the  community,  and  suitably  to  the 
trust  and  ends  of  the  government,  is  undoubted 
prerogative,  and  never  is  questioned :  for  the 
people  are  very  seldom  or  never  scrupulous  or 
nice  in  the  point ;  they  are  far  from  examining 
prerogative,  whilst  it  is  in  any  tolerable  degree 
employed  for  the  use  it  was  meant,  that  is,  for 
the  good  of  the  people,  and  not  manifestly 
against  it ;  but  if  there  comes  to  be  a  question 
between  the  executive  power  and  the  people, 
about  a  thing  claimed  as  a  prerogative ;  the 
tendency  of  the  exercise  of  such  prerogative  to 
the  good  or  hurt  of  the  people,  will  easily 
decide  that  question. 

§.  162.  It  is  easy  to  conceive,  that  in  the 
infancy  of  governments,  when  commonwealths 
differed  little  from  families  in  number  of  people, 
they  differed  from  them  too  but  little  in  number 


of  laws  :  and  the  governors,  being  as  the  fathers 
of  them,  watching  over  them  for  their  good,  the 
government  was  almost  a\\  prerogative.  A  few 
established  laws  served  the  turn,  and  the  dis- 
cretion and  care  of  the  ruler  supplied  the  rest. 
But  when  mistake  or  flattery  prevailed  with 
weak  princes  to  make  use  of  this  power  for 
private  ends  of  their  own,  and  not  for  the  public 
good,  the  people  were  fain  by  express  laws  to 
get  prerogative  determined  in  those  points 
wherein  they  found  disadvantage  from  it:  and 
thus  declared  limitations  of  prerogative  were  by 
the  people  found  necessary  in  cases  which  they 
and  their  ancestors  had  left,  in  the  utmost 
latitude,  to  the  wisdom  of  those  princes  who 
made  no  other  but  a  right  use  of  it,  that  is,  for 
the  good  of  their  people. 

163.  And  therefore  they  have  a  very  wrong 
notion  of  government,  who  say,  that  the  people 
have  incroached  upon  the  prerogative,  when  they 
have  got  any  part  of  it  to  be  defined  by  positive 
laws  :  for  in  so  doing  they  have  not  pulled 
from  the  prince  anything  that  of  right  belonged 
to  him,  but  only  declared,  that  that  power 
which  they  indefinitely  left  in  his  or  his  ances- 
tors hands,  to  be  exercised  for  their  good,  was 
not  a  thing  which  they  intended  him  when  he 
used  it  otherwise:  for  the  end  of  government 
being  the  good  of  the  community,  whatsoever 
alterations  are  made  in  it,  tending  to  that  end, 
cannot  be  an  incroachment  upon  any  body,  since 
no  body  in  government  can  have  a  right  tending 


to  any  other  end :  and  those  only  are  incroach- 
metits  which  prejudice  or  hinder  the  public 
good.  Those  who  say  otherwise,  speak  as  if 
the  prince  had  a  distinct  and  separate  interest 
from  the  good  of  the  community,  and  was  not 
made  for  it;  the  root  and  source  from  which 
spring  almost  all  those  evils  and  disorders  which 
happen  in  kingly  governments.  And  indeed, 
if  that  be  so,  the  people  under  his  govern- 
ment are  not  a  society  of  rational  creatures, 
entered  into  a  community  for  their  mutual 
good  ;  they  are  not  such  as  have  set  rulers  over 
themselves,  to  guard,  and  promote  that  good  ; 
but  are  to  be  looked  on  as  an  herd  of  inferior 
creatures  under  the  dominion  of  a  master,  who 
keeps  them  and  works  them  for  his  own  plea- 
sure or  profit.  If  men  were  so  void  of  reason, 
and  brutish,  as  to  enter  into  society  upon  such 
terms,  prerogative  might  indeed  be,  what  some 
men  would  have  it,  an  arbitrary  power  to  do 
things  hurtful  to  the  people. 

§.  164.  But  since  a  rational  creature  cannot 
be  supposed,  when  free,  to  put  himself  into 
subjection  to  another,  for  his  own  harm ; 
(though,  where  he  finds  a  good  and  wise  ruler, 
he  may  not  perhaps  think  it  either  necessary  or 
useful  to  set  precise  bounds  to  his  power  in  all 
things)  prerogative  can  be  nothing  but  the 
peoples  permitting  their  rulers  to  do  several 
things,  of  their  own  free  choice,  where  the  law 
was  silent,  and  sometimes  too  against  the 
direct  letter  of  the  law,  for  the  public  good ; 


and  their  acquiescing  in  it  when  so  done :  for 
as  a  good  prince,  who  is  mindful  of  the  trust 
put  into  his  hands,  and  careful  of  the  good  of 
his  people,  cannot  have  too  much  prerogative, 
that  is,  power  to  do  good ;  so  a  weak  and  ill 
prince,  who  would  claim  that  power  which  his 
predecessors  exercised  without  the  direction 
of  the  law,  as  a  prerogative  belonging  to  him 
by  right  of  his  office,  which  he  may  exercise  at 
his  pleasure,  to  make  or  promote  an  interest 
distinct  from  that  of  the  public,  gives  the  people 
an  occasion  to  claim  their  right,  and  limit  that 
power,  which,  whilst  it  was  exercised  for  their 
good,  they  were  content  should  be  tacitly 

§.  165.  And  therefore  he  that  will  look  into 
the  history  of  England,  will  find,  that  preroga- 
tive was  always  largest  in  the  hands  of  our 
wisest  and  best  princes ;  because  the  people, 
observing  the  whole  tendency  of  their  actions 
to  be  the  public  good,  contested  not  what  was 
done  without  law  to  that  end :  or,  if  any  human 
frailty  or  mistake  (for  princes  are  but  men, 
made  as  others)  appeared  in  some  small  decli- 
nations from  that  end ;  yet  'twas  visible,  the 
main  of  their  conduct  tended  to  nothing  but 
the  care  of  the  public.  The  people  therefore, 
finding  reason  to  be  satisfied  with  these  princes, 
whenever  they  acted  without,  or  contrary  to 
the  letter  of  the  law,  acquiesced  in  what  they 
did,  and,  without  the  least  complaint,  let  them 
inlarge  their  prerogative  as  they  pleased,  judg- 


ing  rightly,  that  they  did  nothing  herein  to  the 
prejudice  of  their  laws,  since  they  acted  con- 
formable to  the  foundation  and  end  of  all  laws, 
the  public  good. 

§.  166.  Such  godlike  princes  indeed  had 
some  title  to  arbitrary  power  by  that  argument, 
that  would  prove  absolute  monarchy  the  best 
government,  as  that  which  God  himself  governs 
the  universe  by ;  because  such  kings  partake 
of  his  wisdom  and  goodness.  Upon  this  is 
founded  that  saying,  That  the  reigns  of  good 
princes  have  been  always  most  dangerous  to 
the  liberties  of  their  people:  for  when  their 
successors,  managing  the  government  with 
different  thoughts,  would  draw  the  actions  of 
those  good  rulers  into  precedent,  and  make 
them  the  standard  of  their  prerogative :  as  if 
what  had  been  done  only  for  the  good  of  the 
people  was  a  right  in  them  to  do,  for  the  harm 
of  the  people,  if  they  so  pleased ;  it  has  often 
occasioned  contest,  and  sometimes  public 
disorders,  before  the  people  could  recover  their 
original  right,  and  get  that  to  be  declared  not 
to  be  prerogative,  which  truly  was  never  so ; 
since  it  is  impossible  that  any  body  in  the 
society  should  ever  have  a  right  to  do  the 
people  harm  ;  though  it  be  very  possible,  and 
reasonable,  that  the  people  should  not  go  about 
to  set  any  bounds  to  the  prerogative  of  those 
kings,  or  rulers,  who  themselves  transgressed 
not  the  bounds  of  the  public  good :  for  prero- 


gative  is  nothing  but  the  power  of  doing  public 
good  without  a  rule. 

§.  167.  The  power  of  calling  parliaments  in 
England,  as  to  precise  time,  place,  and  dura- 
tion, is  certainly  a  prerogative  of  the  king,  but 
still  with  this  trust,  that  it  shall  be  made  use  of 
for  the  good  of  the  nation,  as  the  exigencies  of 
the  times,  and  variety  of  occasions,  shall  require; 
for  it  being  impossible  to  foresee  which  should 
always  be  the  fittest  place  for  them  to  assemble 
in,  and  what  the  best  season ;  the  choice  of 
these  was  left  with  the  executive  power,  as 
might  be  most  subservient  to  the  public  good, 
and  best  suit  the  ends  of  parliaments. 

§.  1G8.  The  old  question  will  be  asked  in 
this  matter  of  prerogative,  But  ivho  shall  be 
judge  when  this  power  is  made  a  right  use  of? 
I  answer :  between  an  executive  power  in  being, 
with  such  a  prerogative,  and  a  legislative  that 
depends  upon  his  will  for  ther  convening,  there 
can  be  no  judge  on  earth  ;  as  there  can  be  none 
between  the  legislative  and  the  people,  should 
either  the  executive,  or  the  legislative,  when 
they  have  got  the  power  in  their  hands,  design, 
or  go  about  to  enslave  or  destroy  them.  The 
people  have  no  other  remedy  in  this,  as  in  all 
other  cases  where  they  have  no  judge  on  earth, 
but  to  appeal  to  heaven:  for  the  rulers,  in  such 
attempts,  exercising  a  power  the  people  never 
put  into  their  hands,  (who  can  never  be  supposed 
to  consent  that  any  body  should  rule  over  them 
for  their  harm)  do  that  which  they  have  not  a 


right  to  do.     And  where  the  body  of  the  people, 
or  any  single  man,  is  deprived  of  their  right,  oi- 
ls under  the  exercise  of  a  power  without  right, 
and  have  no  appeal  on  earth,  then  they  have  a 
liberty   to    appeal   to   heaven,    whenever   they 
judge   the   cause  of  sufficient  moment.     And 
therefore,  though  the  people  cannot  he  judge,  so 
as  to  have,  by  the  constitution  of  that  society, 
any  superior  power,  to  determine  and  give  effec- 
tive sentence  in  the  case ;  yet  they  have,  by  a 
law  antecedent  and  paramount  to  all  positive 
laws   of  men,  reserved  that  ultimate  determi- 
nation to  themselves  which  belongs  to  all  man- 
kind, where  there  lies  no  appeal  on  earth,  viz. 
to  judge,  whether  they  have  just  cause  to  make 
their  appeal    to   heaven.     And    this  judgment 
they  cannot  part  with,   it  being  out  of  a  man's 
power  so  to  submit  himself  to  another,  as  to 
give  him  a  liberty  to  destroy  him ;  God  and 
nature    never  allowing  a  man  so  to  abandon 
himself,    as  to  neglect  his  own  preservation  : 
and   since  he  cannot  take  away  his  own  life, 
neither  can  he  give  another  power  to  take  it. 
Nor  let  any  one  think,  this  lays  a  perpetual 
foundation  for  disorder:  for  this  operates  not, 
till   the    inconveniency   is    so    great,    that   the 
majority  feel  it,  and  are  weary  of  it,  and  find 
a  necessity  to  have  it  amended.     But  this  the 
executive  power,   or  wise  princes,  never  need 
come  in  the  danger  of:  and  it  is  the  thing,  of 
all  others,   they  have  most  need  to  avoid,  as  of 
all  others  the  most  perilous. 



Of  Paternal,  Political,  and  Despotical  Power, 
considered  together. 

§.  169.  Though  I  have  had  occasion  to  speak 
of  these  separately  before,  yet  the  great  mis- 
takes of  late  about  government  having,  as  I 
suppose,  arisen  from  confounding  these  distinct 
powers  one  with  another,  it  may  not,  perhaps, 
be  amiss  to  consider  them  here  together. 

§.  170.  First,  then,  Paternal  or  parental  power 
is  nothing  but  that  which  parents  have  over  their 
children,  to  govern  them  for  the  children's  good, 
till  they  come  to  the  use  of  reason,  or  a  state  of 
knowledge,  wherein  they  may  be  supposed 
capable  to  understand  that  rule,  whether  it  be 
the  law  of  nature,  or  the  municipal  law  of  their 
country,  they  are  to  govern  themselves  by : 
capable,  I  say,  to  know  it,  as  well  as  several 
others,  who  live  as  freemen  under  that  law. 
The  affection  and  tenderness  which  God  hath 
planted  in  the  breast  of  parents  towards  their 
children,  makes  it  evident,  that  this  is  not 
intended  to  be  a  severe  arbitrary  government, 
but  only  for  the  help,  instruction,  and  preserva- 
tion of  their  offspring.  But  happen  it  as  it  will, 
there  is,  as  1  have  proved,  no  reason  why  it 
should  be  thought  to  extend  to  life  and  death, 
at  any  time,  over  their  children,  more  than  over 
any  body  else ;  neither  can  there  be  any  pre- 


tence  why  this  parental  power  should  keep  the 
child,  when  grown  to  a  man,  in  subjection  to 
the  will  of  his  parents,  any  farther  than  having 
received  life  and  education  from  his  parents, 
obliges  him  to  respect,  honour,  gratitude,  assis- 
tance and  support,  all  his  life,  to  both  father 
and  mother.  And  thus,  'tis  true,  the  paternal 
is  a  natural  government,  but  not  at  all  extending 
itself  to  the  ends  and  jurisdictions  of  that  which 
is  political.  The  power  of  the  father  doth  not 
reach  at  all  to  the  property  of  the  child,  which 
is  only  in  his  own  disposing. 

§.  171.  Secondly,  Political  power  is  that 
power,  which  every  man  having  in  the  state  of 
nature,  has  given  up  into  the  hands  of  the 
society,  and  therein  to  the  governors,  whom 
the  society  hath  set  over  itself,  with  this  express 
or  tacit  trust,  that  it  shall  be  employed  for  their 
good,  and  the  preservation  of  their  property : 
now  this  power,  which  every  man  has  in  the 
state  of  nature,  and  which  he  parts  with  to  the 
society  in  all  such  cases  where  the  society 
can  secure  him,  is  to  use  such  means,  for  the 
preserving  of  his  own  property,  as  he  thinks 
good,  and  nature  allows  him;  and  to  punish 
the  breach  of  the  law  of  nature  in  others,  so  as 
(according  to  the  best  of  his  reason)  may  most 
conduce  to  the  preservation  of  himself,  and  the 
rest  of  mankind.  So  that  the  end  and  measure 
of  this  power,  when  in  every  man's  hands  in 
the  state  of  nature,  being  the  preservation  of  all 
of  his  society,  that  is,  all  mankind  in  general, 



it  can  have  no  other  end  or  measure,  when  in 
the  hands  of  the  magistrate,  but  to  preserve  the 
members  of  that  society  in  their  lives,  liberties, 
and  possessions  ;  and  so  cannot  be  an  absolute, 
arbitrary  power  over  their  lives  and  fortunes, 
which  are  as  much  as  possible  to  be  preserved ; 
but  a  power  to  make  laws,  and  annex  such 
penalties  to  them,  as  may  tend  to  the  preserva- 
tion of  the  whole,  by  cutting  off  those  parts, 
and  those  only,  which  are  so  corrupt,  that 
they  threaten  the  sound  and  healthy,  without 
which  no  severity  is  lawful.  And  this  power 
has  its  original  only  from  compact  and  agree- 
ment, and  the  mutual  consent  of  those  who 
make  up  the  community. 

§.  172.  Thirdly,  Despotical  power  is  an 
absolute,  arbitrary  power  one  man  has  over 
another,  to  take  away  his  life,  whenever  he 
pleases.  This  is  a  power,  which  neither  na- 
ture gives,  for  it  has  made  no  such  distinction 
between  one  man  and  another ;  nor  compact 
can  convey :  for  man  not  having  such  an 
arbitrary  power  over  his  own  life,  cannot  give 
another  man  such  a  power  over  it ;  but  it  is  the 
effect  only  of  forfeiture,  which  the  aggressor 
makes'  of  his  own  life,  when  he  puts  himself 
into  the  state  of  war  with  another :  for  having 
quitted  reason,  which  God  hath  given  to  be  the 
rule  betwixt  man  and  man,  and  the  common 
bond  whereby  human  kind  is  united  into  one 
fellowship  and  society ;  and  having  renounced 
the   way  of    peace   which    that    teaches,    and 


made  use  of  the  force  of  war,  to  compass  his 
unjust  ends  upon  another,  where  he  has  no 
right;  and  so  revolting  from  his  own  kind  to 
that  of  beasts,  by  making  force,  which  is 
their's,  to  be  his  rule  of  right,  he  renders  him- 
self liable  to  be  destroyed  by  the  injured 
person,  and  the  rest  of  mankind  that  will  join 
with  him  in  the  execution  of  justice,  as  any 
other  wild  beast,  or  noxious  brute,  with  whom 
mankind  can  have  neither  society  nor  security.* 
And  thus  captives,  taken  in  a  just  and  lawful 
war,  and  such  only,  are  subject  to  a  despot ical 
power,  which,  as  it  arises  not  from  compact, 
so  neither  is  it  capable  of  any,  but  is  the  state 
of  war  continued  :  for  what  compact  can  be 
made  with  a  man  that  is  not  master  of  his 
own  life?  what  condition  can  he  perform?  and 
if  he  be  once  allowed  to  be  master  of  his  own 
life,  the  despotical,  arbitrary  poiver  of  his 
master  ceases.  He  that  is  master  of  himself, 
and  his  own  life,  has  a  right  too  to  the  means 
of  preserving  it ;  so  that  as  soon  as  compact 
enters,  slavery  ceases,  and  he  so  far  quits  his 
absolute  power,  and  puts  an  end  to  the  state 
of  war,  who  enters  into  conditions  with  his 

§.  173.  Nature  gives  the  first  of  these,  viz. 
paternal  poiver  to  jmreuts  for  the  benefit  of  their 
children  during  their  minority,  to  supply  their 
want   of  ability,    and    understanding   how   to 

*  Another  copy  corrected  by  Mr.  Locke,  has  it  thus, 
Noxious  brute  that  is  destructive  to  their  being. 

z  2 


manage  their  property.  (By  property  I  must 
be  understood  here,  as  in  other  places,  to  mean 
that  property  which  men  have  in  their  persons 
as  well  as  goods.)  Voluntary  agreement  gives 
the  second,  viz.  political  power  to  governors  for 
the  benefit  of  their  subjects,  to  secure  them  in 
the  possession  and  use  of  their  properties. 
And  forfeiture  gives  the  third,  despot ical power 
to  lords  for  their  own  benefit,  over  those  who 
are  stripped  of  all  property. 

§.  174.  He  that  shall  consider  the  distinct 
rise  and  extent,  and  the  different  ends  of  these 
several  powers,  will  plainly  see,  that  paternal 
power  comes  as  far  short  of  that  of  the  magis- 
trate, as  despotical  exceeds  it;  and  that  absolute 
dominion,  however  placed,  is  so  far  from  being 
one  kind  of  civil  society,  that  it  is  as  inconsistent 
with  it,  as  slavery  is  with  property.  Paternal 
power  is  only  where  minority  makes  the  child 
incapable  to  manage  his  property  ;  political, 
where  men  have  property  in  their  own  disposal ; 
and  despotical,  over  such  as  have  no  property 
at  all. 



{.  175.  Though  governments  can  originally 
have  no  other  rise  than  that  before  mentioned, 
nor  politics  be  founded  on  any  thing  but  the 
consent  of  the  people  ;  yet  such  have  been  the 


disorders  ambition  has  filled  the  world  with, 
(hut  in  the  noise  of  war,  which  makes  so  great 
a  part  of  the  history  of  mankind,  this  consent  is 
little  taken  notice  of:  and  therefore  many  have 
mistaken  the  force  of  arms  for  the  consent  of 
the  people,  and  reckon  conquest  as  one  of  the 
originals  of  government.  Hut  conquest  is  as  far 
from  setting  up  any  government,  as  demolishing 
an  house  is  from  building  a  new  one  in  the 
place.  Indeed,  it  often  makes  way  for  a  new 
frame  of  a  commonwealth,  by  destroying  the 
former  ;  but,  without  the  consent  of  the  people, 
can  never  erect  a  new  one. 

§.  170'.  That  the  aggressor,  who  puts  himself 
into  the  state  of  war  with  another,  and  unjustly 
invades  another  man's  right,  can,  by  such  an 
unjust  war,  never  come  to  have  a  right  over  the 
conquered,  will  be  easily  agreed  by  all  men, 
who  will  not  think,  that  robbers  and  py rates 
have  a  right  of  empire  over  whomsoever  they 
have  force  enough  to  master;  or  that  men  are 
bound  by  promises,  which  unlawful  force  extorts 
from  them.  Should  a  robber  break  into  my 
house,  and  with  a  dagger  at  my  throat  make 
me  seal  deeds  to  convey  my  estate  to  him, 
would  this  give  him  any  title  (  Just  such  a 
title,  by  his  sword,  has  an  unjust  conqueror, 
who  forces  me  into  submission.  The  injury 
and  the  crime  is  equal,  whether  committed  by 
the  wearer  of  a  crown,  or  some  petty  villain. 
The  title  of  the  offender,  and  the  number  of  his 
followers,  make  no  difference  in  the  offence, 


unless  it  be  to  aggravate  it.  The  only  difference 
is,  great  robbers  punish  little  ones,  to  keep 
them  in  their  obedience;  but  the  great  ones 
are  rewarded  with  laurels  and  triumphs,  be- 
cause they  are  too  big  for  the  weak  hands  of 
justice  in  this  world,  and  have  the  power  in 
their  own  possession,  which  should  punish 
offenders.  What  is  my  remedy  against  a 
robber,  that  so  broke  into  my  house  ?  Appeal 
to  the  laAV  for  justice.  But  perhaps  justice  is 
denied,  or  I  am  crippled  and  cannot  stir, 
robbed  and  have  not  the  means  to  do  it.  If 
God  has  taken  away  all  means  of  seeking 
remedy,  there  is  nothing  left  but  patience.  But 
my  son,  when  able,  may  seek  the  relief  of  the 
law,  which  I  am  denied :  he  or  his  son  may 
renew  his  appeal,  till  he  recover  his  right.  But 
the  conquered,  or  their  children,  have  no  court, 
*no  arbitrator  on  earth  to  appeal  to.  Then  they 
may  appeal,  as  Jephtha  did,  to  heaven,  and 
repeat  their  appeal  till  they  have  recovered  the 
native  right  of  their  ancestors,  which  was,  to 
have  such  a  legislative  over  them,  as  the 
majority  should  approve,  and  freely  acquiesce 
in.  If  it  be  objected,  This  would  cause  endless 
trouble;  I  answer,  no  more  than  justice  does, 
where  she  lies  open  to  all  that  appeal  to  her. 
He  that  troubles  his  neighbour  without  a  cause, 
is  punished  for  it  by  the  justice  of  the  court  he 
appeals  to :  and  he  that  appeals  to  heaven  must 
be  sure  he  has  right  on  his  side;  and  aright 
too  I  lint   is  worth  the  trouble  and  cost  of  the 


appeal,  as  he  will  answer  at  a  tribunal  that 
cannot  be  deceived,  and  will  be  sure  to  retri- 
bute to  every  one  according  to  the  mischiefs 
he  hath  created  to  his  fellow-subjects ;  that  is, 
any  part  of  mankind  :  from  whence  it  is  plain, 
that  he  that  conquers  in  an  unjust  war,  can 
thereby  have  no  title  to  the  subjection  and  obedi- 
ence of  the  conquered. 

§.  177.  But  supposing   victory   favours    the 
right  side,  let  us  consider  a  conqueror  in  a  law- 
ful tvar,  and  see  what  power  he  gets,  and  over 

First,  It  is  plain  he  gets  no  power  by  his  con- 
quest over  those  that  conquered  with  him.  They 
that  fought  on  his  side  cannot  suffer  by  the 
conquest,  but  must  at  least  be  as  much  freemen 
as  they  were  before.  And  most  commonly  they 
serve  upon  terms,  and  on  condition  to  share 
with  their  leader,  and  enjoy  a  part  of  the  spoil, 
and  other  advantages  that  attend  the  conquer- 
ing sword ;  or'at  least  have  a  part  of  the  subdued 
country  bestowed  upon  them.  And  the  con- 
quering people  are  not,  1  hope,  to  be  slaves  by 
conquest,  and  wear  their  laurels  only  to  shew 
they  are  sacrifices  to  their  leader's  triumph. 
They,  that  found  absolute  monarchy  upon  the 
title  of  the  sword,  make  their  heroes,  who  are 
the  founders  of  such  monarchies,  arrant  Draic- 
cansirs  and  forget  they  had  any  officers  and 
soldiers  that  fought  on  their  side  in  the  battles 
they  won,  or  assisted  them  in  the  subduing,  or 
shared  in  possessing,  the  countries  they  master- 


ed.  We  are  told  by  some,  that  the  English 
monarchy  is  founded  in  the  Norman  conquest, 
and  that  our  princes  have  thereby  a  title  to 
absolute  dominion :  which  if  it  were  true,  (as 
by  the  history  it  appears  otherwise)  and  that 
William  had  a  right  to  make  war  on  this  island: 
yet  his  dominion  by  conquest  could  reach  no 
farther  than  to  the  Saxons  and  Britons,  that 
were  then  inhabitants  of  this  country.  The 
Normans  that  came  with  him,  and  helped  to 
conquer,  and  all  descended  from  them,  are 
freemen,  and  no  subjects  by  conquest ;  let  that 
give  what  dominion  it  will.  And  if  I,  or  any 
body  else,  shall  claim  freedom,  as  derived  from 
them,  it  will  be  very  hard  to  prove  the  contrary : 
and  it  is  plain,  the  law,  that  has  made  no  dis- 
tinction between  the  one  and  the  other,  intends 
not  there  should  be  any  difference  in  their 
freedom  or  privileges. 

<§.  178.  But  supposing,  which  seldom  hap- 
pens, that  the  conquerors  and  conquered  never 
incorporate  into  one  people,  under  the  same 
laws  and  freedom  ;  let  us  see  next  what  power  a 
lawful  conqueror  has  over  the  subdued:  and  that 
I  say  is  purely  despotical.  He  has  an  absolute 
power  over  the  lives  of  those  who  by  an  unjust 
war  have  forfeited  them  ;  but  not  over  the  lives 
or  fortunes  of  those  who  engaged  not  in  the 
war,  nor  over  the  possessions  even  of  those 
who  were  actually  engaged  in  it. 

§.  179.  Secondly,  I  say  then  the  conqueror 
gets  no  power  but  only  over  those  who  have 


actually  assisted,  concurred,  or  consented  to 
that  unjust  force  that  is  used  against  him :  for 
the  people  having  given  to  their  governors  no 
power  to  do  an  unjust  thing,  such  as  is  to 
make  an  unjust  war,  (for  they  never  had  'such 
a  power  in  themselves)  they  ought  not  to  be 
charged  as  guilty  of  the  violence  and  injustice 
that  is  committed  in  an  unjust  war,  any  farther 
than  they  actually  abet  it;  no  more  than  they 
are  to  be  thought  guilty  of  any  violence  or 
oppression  their  governors  should  use  upon 
the  people  themselves,  or  any  part  of  their 
fellow-subjects,  they  having  impowered  them  no 
more  to  the  one  than  to  the  other.  Conquerors, 
it  is  true,  seldom  trouble  themselves  to  make 
the  distinction,  but  they  willingly  permit  the 
confusion  of  war  to  sweep  all  together:  but 
yet  this  alters  not  the  right ;  for  the  conqueror's 
power  over  the  lives  of  the  conquered,  being- 
only  because  they  have  used  force  to  do,  or 
maintain  an  injustice,  he  can  have  that  power 
only  over  those  who  have  concurred  in  that 
force;  all  the  rest  are  innocent ;  and  he  has  no 
more  title  over  the  people  of  that  country,  who 
have  done  him  no  injury,  and  so  have  made  no 
forfeiture  of  their  lives,  than  he  has  over  any 
other,  who,  without  any  injuries  or  provoca- 
tions, have  lived  upon  fair  terms  with  him. 

§.  180.  Thirdly,  The  power  a  conqueror  gels, 
over  those  he  overcomes  in  a  just  war,  isperfectly 
despolicak  he  has  an  absolute  povveroverthe  lives 
oi  those,  who  by  putting  themselves  in  a  state 


of  war,  have  forfeited  them ;  but  he  has  not 
thereby  a  right  and  title  to  their  possessions. 
This  I  doubt  not,  but  at  first  sight  will  seem  a 
strange  doctrine,  it  being  so  quite  contrary  to 
the  practice  of  the  world  ;  there  being  nothing 
more  familiar  in  speaking  of  the  dominion  of 
countries,  than  to  say  such  an  one  conquered 
it :  as  if  the  conquest,  without  any  more  ado, 
conveyed  a  right  of  possession.  But  when  we 
consider,  that  the  practice  of  the  strong  and 
powerful,  how  universal  soever  it  may  be,  is 
seldom  the  rule  of  right,  however  it  be  oue  part 
of  the  subjection  of  the  conquered,  not  to  argue 
against  the  conditions  cut  out  to  them  by  the 
conquering  sword. 

§.  181.  Though  in  all  war  there  be  usually 
a  complication  of  force  and  damage,  and  the 
aggressor  seldom  fails  to  harm  the  estate,  when 
he  uses  force  against  the  persons  of  those  he 
makes  war  upon,  yet  it  is  the  use  of  force  only 
that  puts  a  man  into  the  state  of  war:  for 
whether  by  force  he  begins  the  injury,  or  else 
having  quietly,  and  by  fraud,  done  the  injury,  he 
refuses  to  make  reparation,  and  by  force  main- 
tains it,  (which  is  the  same  thing,  as  at  first  to 
have  done  it  by  force)  it  is  the  unjust  use  of  force, 
that  makes  the  war :  for  he  that  breaks  open  my 
house,  and  violently  turns  me  out  of  doors ;  or 
having  peaceably  got  in,  by  force  keeps  me  out, 
does  in  effect  the  same  thing  ;  supposing  we  are 
in  such  a  state,  that  we  have  no  common  judge 
on  earth,  whom  I  may  appeal  to,  and  to  whom 


we  are  both  obliged  to  submit :  for  of  such  I 
am  now  speaking.  It  is  the  unjust  use  of  force, 
then,  that  puis  a  man  into  the  state  of  war  with 
another;  and  thereby  he  that  is  guilty  of  it 
makes  a  forfeiture  of  his  life :  for  quitting 
reason,  which  is  the  rule  given  between  man 
and  man,  and  using  force,  the  way  of  beasts, 
lie  becomes  liable  to  be  destroyed  by  him  lie 
uses  force  against,  as  any  savage  ravenous 
beast,  that  is  dangerous  to  his  being. 

§.  182.  But  because  the  miscarriages  of  the 
father  are  no  faults  of  the  children,  and  they 
may  be  rational  and  peaceable,  notwithstand- 
ing the  brntishness  and  injustice  of  the  father; 
the  father,  by  his  miscarriages  and  violence, 
can  forfeit  but  his  own  life,  but  involves  not  his 
children  in  his  guilt  or  destruction.  His  goods, 
which  nature,  that  willeth  the  preservation  of 
all  mankind  as  much  as  is  possible,  hath  made 
to  belong  to  the  children  to  keep  them  from 
perishing,  do  still  continue  to  belong  to  his 
children :  for  supposing  them  not  to  have 
joined  in  the  war,  either  through  infancy,  ab- 
sence, or  choice,  they  have  done  nothing  to 
forfeit  them  :  nor  has  the  conqueror  any  right 
to  take  them  away,  by  the  bare  title  of  having 
subdued  him  that  by  force  attempted  his  de- 
struction ;  though  perhaps  he  may  have  some 
right  to  them,  to  repair  the  damages  he  has 
sustained  by  the  war,  and  the  defence  of  his 
own  right ;  which  how  far  it  reaches  to  the 
possessions  of  the  conquered,  we  shall  see  by- 


and-by.  So  that  he  that  by  conquest  has  a 
right  over  a  maris  person  to  destroy  him  if  he 
pleases,  has  not  thereby  a  right  over  his  estate 
to  possess  and  enjoy  it:  for  it  is  the  brutal 
force  the  aggressor  has  used,  that  gives  his 
adversary  a  right  to  take  away  his  life,  and 
destroy  him  if  he  pleases,  as  a  noxious  crea- 
ture ;  but  it  is  damage  sustained  that  alone 
gives  him  title  to  another  man's  goods :  for 
though  I  may  kill  a  theif  that  sets  on  me  in 
the  highway,  yet  I  may  not  (which  seems  less) 
take  away  his  money,  and  let  him  go :  this 
would  be  robbery  on  my  side.  His  force,  and 
the  state  of  war  he  puts  himself  in,  made  him 
forfeit  his  life,  but  gave  me  no  title  to  his 
goods.  The  right  then  of  conquest  extends 
only  to  the  lives  of  those  who  joined  in  the  war, 
not  to  their  estates,  but  only  in  order  to  make 
reparation  for  the  damages  received,  and  the 
charges  of  the  war,  and  that  too  with  reser- 
vation of  the  right  of  the  innocent  wife  and 

§.  183.  Let  the  conqueror  have  as  much 
justice  on  his  side,  as  could  be  supposed,  he 
has  no  right  to  seize  more  than  the  vanquished 
could  forfeit :  his  life  is  at  the  victor's  mercy ; 
and  his  service  and  goods  he  may  appropriate, 
to  make  himself  reparation ;  but  he  cannot 
take  the  goods  of  his  wife  and  children;  they 
too  had  a  title  to  the  goods  he  enjoyed,  and 
their  shares  in  the  estate  he  possessed  :  for  ex- 
ample,   t   in  the   state  of  nature  (and   all  com- 


monwcalths  are  in  the  state  of  nature  one  with 
another)  have  injured  another  man,  and  refu- 
sing to  give  satisfaction,  it  conies  to  a  state 
of  war,  wherein  my  defending  by  force  what 
I  had  gotten  unjustly,  makes  me  the  aggressor. 
I  am  conquered :  my  life,  it  is  true,  as  forfeit, 
is  at  mercy,  but  not  my  wife's  and  children's. 
They  made  not  war,  nor  assisted  in  it.  1 
could  not  forfeit  their  lives ;  they  were  not 
mine  to  forfeit.  My  wife  had  a  share  in  my 
estate ;  that  neither  could  I  forfeit.  And  my 
children  also,  being  born  of  me,  had  a  right  to 
be  maintained  out  of  my  labour  or  substance. 
Here  then  is  the  case  :  the  conqueror  has  a 
title  to  reparation  for  damages  received,  and 
the  children  have  a  title  to  their  fathers  estate 
for  their  subsistence :  for  as  to  the  wife's  share, 
whether  her  own  labour  or  compact,  gave  her 
a  title  to  it,  it  is  plain,  her  husband  could  not 
forfeit  what  was  her's.  What  must  be  done 
in  the  case?  I  answer;  the  fundamental  law 
of  nature  being,  that  all,  as  much  as  may  be, 
should  be  preserved,  it  follows,  that  if  there  be 
not  enough  fully  to  satisfy  both,  viz.  for  the 
conqueror  s  losses,  and  children's  maintenance, 
he  that  hath,  and  to  spare,  must  remit  some- 
thing of  his  full  satisfaction,  and  give  wray  to 
the  pressing  and  preferable  title  of  those  who 
are  in  danger  to  perish  without  it. 

§.  184.  But  supposing  the  charge  and 
damages  of  the  tear  are  to  be  made  up  to  the 
conqueror,   to   the  utmost  farthing;    and  that 


the  children  of  the  vanquished,  spoiled  of  all 
their  fathers  goods,  are  to  be  left  to  starve  and 
perish  :  yet  the  satisfying  of  what  shall,  on  this 
score,  be  due  to  the  conqueror,  will  scarce  give 
him  a  title  to  any  country  he  should  conquer : 
for  the  damages  of  war  can  scarce  amount  to 
the  value  of  any  considerable  tract  of  land,  in 
any  part  of  the  world,  where  all  the  land  is 
possessed,  and  none  lies  waste.  And  if  1 
have  not  taken  away  the  conqueror's  land, 
which,  being  vanquished,  it  is  impossible  I 
should ;  scarce  any  other  spoil  I  have  done 
him  can  amount  to  the  value  of  mine,  suppo- 
sing it  equally  cultivated,  and  of  an  extent  any 
way  coming  near  what  I  had  over-run  of  his. 
The  destruction  of  a  year's  product  or  two 
(for  it  seldom  reaches  four  or  five)  is  the  ut- 
most spoil  that  usually  can  be  done :  for  as  to 
money,  and  such  riches  and  treasure  taken 
away,  these  are  none  of  nature's  goods,  they 
have  but  a  fantastical  imaginary  value:  nature 
has  put  no  such  upon  them :  they  are  of  no 
more  account  by  her  standard,  than  the  wam- 
pompeke  of  the  Americans  to  an  European 
prince,  or  the  silver  money  of  Europe  would 
have  been  formerly  to  an  American.  And 
five  years  product  is  not  worth  the  perpetual 
inheritance  of  land,  where  all  is  possessed,  and 
none  remains  waste,  to  be  taken  up  by  him 
that  is  disseized  :  which  will  be  easily  granted, 
if  one  do  but  take  away  the  imaginary  value 
of  money,  the   disproportion  being  more  than 


between  five  and  five  hundred;  though,  at  the 
same  time,  half  a  year's  product  is  more  worth 
than  the  inheritance,  where  there  being  more 
land  than  the  inhabitants  possess  and  make 
use  of,  any  one  has  liberty  to  make  use  of  the 
waste:  but  there  conquerors  take  little  care 
to  possess  themselves  of  the  lands  of  the  van- 
quished. No  damage  therefore,  that  men  in 
the  state  of  nature  (as  all  princes  and  govern- 
ments are  in  reference  to  one  another)  suffer 
from  one  another,  can  give  a  conqueror  power 
to  dispossess  the  posterity  of  the  vanquished, 
and  turn  them  out  of  that  inheritance,  which 
ought  to  be  the  possession  of  them  and  their 
descendants  to  all  generations.  The  conqueror 
indeed  will  be  apt  to  think  himself  master :  and 
it  is  the  very  condition  of  the  subdued  not  to  be 
able  to  dispute  their  right.  But  if  that  be  all, 
it  gives  no  other  title  than  what  bare  force  gives 
to  the  stronger  over  the  weaker:  and,  by  this 
reason,  he  that  is  strongest  will  have  a  right  to 
whatever  he  pleases  to  seize  on. 

§.  185.  Over  those  then  that  joined  with  him 
in  the  war,  and  over  those  of  the  subdued 
country  that  opposed  him  not,  and  the  posterity 
even  of  those  that  did,  the  conqueror,  even  in 
a  just  war,  hath,  by  his  conquest,  no  right  of 
dominion:  they  are  free  from  any  subjection  to 
him,  and  if  their  former  government  be  dis- 
solved, they  are  at  liberty  to  begin  and  erect 
another  to  themselves. 

§.   180.  The  conqueror,   it  is  true,   usually. 


by  the  force  he  has  over  them,  compels  them, 
with  a  sword  at  their  breasts,  to  stoop  to  his 
conditions,  and  submit  to  such  a  government 
as  he  pleases  to  afford  them  ;  but  the  enquiry 
is,  what  right  he  has  to  do  so?  If  it  be  said, 
they  submit  by  their  own  consent,  then  this 
allows  their  own  consent  to  be  necessary  to  give 
the  conqueror  a  title  to  rule  over  them.  It 
remains  only  to  be  considered,  whether  promises 
extorted  by  force,  without  right,  can  be  thought 
consent,  and  how  far  they  bind.  To  which  I  shall 
say,  they  bind  not  at  all ;  because  whatsoever 
another  gets  from  me  by  force,  I  still  retain  the 
right  of,  and  he  is  obliged  presently  to  restore. 
He  that  forces  my  horse  from  me,  ought 
presently  to  restore  him,  and  I  have  still  a 
right  to  retake  him.  By  the  same  reason,  he 
that  forced  a  promise  from  me,  ought  presently 
to  restore  it,  i.  e.  quit  me  of  the  obligation  of 
it ;  or  I  may  resume  it  myself,  i.  e.  chuse 
whether  I  will  perform  it:  for  the  law  of  nature 
laying  an  obligation  on  me  only  by  the  rules 
she  prescribes,  cannot  oblige  me  by  the  viola- 
tion of  her  rules  :  such  is  the  extorting  any  thing 
from  me  by  force.  Nor  does  it  at  all  alter  the 
case  to  say,  I  gave  my  promise,  no  more  than  it 
excuses  the  force,  and  passes  the  right,  when 
I  put  my  hand  in  my  pocket,  and  deliver  my 
purse  myself  to  a  thief,  who  demands  it  with 
a  pistol  at  my  breast. 

§.   187.  From  all  which   it  follows  that  the 
government  of  a  conqueror,  imposed  by  force  on 


the  subdued,  against  whom  he  had  no  right  of 
war,  or  who  joined  not  in  the  war  against  him, 
where  he  had  right,  has  no  obligation  upon 

§.  188.  But  let  us  suppose,  that  all  the  men 
of  that  community,  being  all  members  of  the 
same  body  politic,  may  be  taken  to  have  joined 
in  that  unjust  war  wherein  they  are  subdued, 
and  so  their  lives  are  at  the  mercy  of  the 

§.  189.  I  say,  this  concerns  not  their  children 
who  are  in  their  minority  :  for  since  a  father 
hath  not,  in  himself,  a  power  over  the  life  or 
liberty  of  his  child,  no  act  of  his  can  possibly 
forfeit  it.  So  that  the  children,  whatever  may 
have  happened  to  the  fathers,  are  freemen,  and 
the  absolute  power  of  the  conqueror  reaches  no 
farther  than  the  persons  of  the  men  that  were 
subdued  by  him,  and  dies  with  them :  and 
should  he  govern  them  as  slaves,  subjected  to 
his  absolute  arbitrary  power,  he  has  no  such 
right  of  dominion  over  their  childre?i.  He  can 
have  no  power  over  them  but  by  their  own  con- 
sent, whatever  he  may  drive  them  to  say  or  do ; 
and  he  has  no  lawful  authority,  whilst  force, 
and  not  choice,  compels  them  to  submission. 

§.  190.  Every  man  is  born  with  a  double 
right:  First ,  aright  of  freedom  to  his  person, 
which  no  other  man  has  a  power  over,  but  the 
free  disposal  of  it  lies  in  himself.  Secondly,  a 
right,  before  any  other  man,  to  inherit  with  his 
brethren  his  father 's  goods. 

2  a 


§.  191.  By  the  first  of  these,  a  man  is  na- 
turally free  from  subjection  to  any  government, 
though  he  be  born  in  a  place  under  its  jurisdic- 
tion ;  but  if  he  disclaim  the  lawful  government 
of  the  country  he  was  born  in,  he  must  also 
quit  the  right  that  belonged  to  him  by  the  laws 
of  it,  and  the  possessions  there  descending  to 
him  from  his  ancestors,  if  it  were  a  government 
made  by  their  consent. 

§.  192.  By  the  second,  the  inhabitants  of  any 
country,  who  are  descended,  and  derive  a  title 
to  their  estates  from  those  who  are  subdued, 
and  had  a  government  forced  upon  them 
against  their  free  consents,  retain  a  right  to 
the  j>ossession  of  their  ancestors,  though  they 
consent  not  freely  to  the  government,  whose 
hard  conditions  were  by  force  imposed  on  the 
possessors  of  that  country :  for  the  first  con- 
queror never  having  had  a  title  to  the  land  of  that 
country,  the  people  who  are  the  descendents 
of,  or  claim  under  those  who  were  forced  to 
submit  to  the  yoke  of  a  government  by  con- 
straint, have  always  a  right  to  shake  it  off,  and 
free  themselves  from  the  usurpation  or  tyranny 
which  the  sword  hath  brought  in  upon  them, 
till  their  rulers  put  them  under  such  a  frame  of 
government,  as  they  willingly  and  of  choice 
consent  to.  Who  doubts  but  the  Grecian 
christians,  descendents  of  the  ancient  possessors 
of  that  country,  may  justly  cast  off  the  Turkish 
yoke,  which  they  have  so  long  groaned  under, 
whenever  they  have   an   opportunity  to  doit? 


For  no  government  can  have  a  right  to  obedi- 
ence from  a  people  who  have  not  freely  con- 
sented to  it ;  which  they  can  never  be  supposed 
to  do,  till  either  they  are  put  in  a  full  state  of 
liberty  to  chuse  their  government  and  governors, 
or  at  least  till  they  have  such  standing  laws,  to 
which  they  have  by  themselves  or  their  repre- 
sentatives given  their  free  consent,  and  also  till 
they  are  allowed  their  due  property,  which  is 
so  to  be  proprietors  of  what  they  have,  that  no 
body  can  take  away  any  part  of  it  without  their 
own  consent,  without  which,  men  under  any 
government  are  not  in  the  state  of  freemen,  but 
are  direct  slaves  under  the  force  of  war. 

§.  193.  But  granting  that  the  conqueror  in  a 
just  war  has  a  right  to  the  estates,  as  well  as 
power  over  the  persons,  of  the  conquered ; 
which,  it  is  plain,  he  hath  not:  nothing  of 
absolute  power  will  follow  from  hence,  in  the 
continuance  of  the  government ;  because  the 
descendants  of  these  being  all  freemen,  if  he 
grants  them  estates  and  possessions  to  inhabit 
his  country,  (without  which  it  would  be  worth 
nothing)  whatsoever  he  grants  them,  they  have, 
so  far  as  it  is  granted,  property  in.  The  nature 
whereof  is,  that  without  a  man's  oivn  consent,  it 
cannot  be  taken  from  him. 

§.  194.  Their  persons  are  free  by  a  native 
right,  and  their  properties,  be  they  more  or  less, 
arc  their  own,  and  at  their  own  dispose,  and  not 
at  his ;  or  else  it  is  no  property.  Supposing 
the  conqueror  gives  to  one  man  a  thousand 


acres,  to  him  and  his  heirs  for  ever ;  to  another 
he  lets  a  thousand  acres  for  his  life,  under  the 
rent  of  50/.  or  500/.  per  ann.  has  not  the  one  of 
these  a  right  to  his  thousand  acres  for  ever,  and 
the  other,  during  his  life,  paying  the  said  rent  ? 
and  hath  not  the  tenant  for  life  a  property  in 
all  that  he  gets  over  and  above  his  rent,  by 
his  labour  and  industry  during  the  said  term, 
supposing  it  be  double  the  rent?  Can  any  one 
say,  the  king,  or  conqueror,  after  his  grant, 
may  by  his  power  of  conqueror  take  away  all, 
or  part  of  the  land  from  the  heirs  of  one,  or 
from  the  other  during  his  life,  he  paying  the 
rent?  or  can  he  take  away  from  either  the 
goods  or  money  they  have  got  upon  the  said 
land,  at  his  pleasure?  If  he  can,  then  all  free 
and  voluntary  contracts  cease,  and  are  void 
in  the  world  ;  there  needs  nothing  to  dissolve 
them  at  any  time,  but  power  enough :  and  all 
the  grants  and  promises  of  men  in  power  are 
but  mockery  and  collusion :  for  can  there  be 
any  thing  more  ridiculous  than  to  say,  I  give 
you  and  yours  this  for  ever,  and  that  in  the 
surest  and  most  solemn  way  of  conveyance 
can  be  devised  ;  and  yet  it  is  to  be  understood, 
that  I  have  a  right,  if  1  please,  to  take  it  away 
from  you  again  to-morrow? 

§.  195.  I  will  not  dispute  now  whether  princes 
are  exempt  from  the  laws  of  their  country; 
but  this  I  am  sure,  they  owe  subjection  to  the 
laws  of  God  and  nature.  No  body,  no  power, 
can  exempt  lhem  from  the  obligations  of  that 


eternal  law.  Those  are  so  great,  and  so  strong, 
in  the  case  of  promises,  that  oranipotehcy  it- 
self can  be  tied  by  them.  Grants,  promises, 
and  oaths,  are  bonds  that  hold  the  Almighty: 
whatever  some  flatterers  say  to  princes  of  the 
world,  who  altogether,  with  all  their  people 
joined  to  them,  are,  in  comparison  of  the  great 
God,  but  as  drop  of  the  bucket,  or  a  dust  on 
the  balance,  inconsiderable,  nothing! 

§.  190.  The  short  of  the  case  in  conquest  is 
this :  the  conqueror,  if  he  have  a  just  cause, 
has  a  despotical  right  over  the  persons  of  all, 
that  actually  aided,  and  concurred  in  the  war 
against  him,  and  a  right  to  make  up  his  damage 
and  cost  out  of  their  labour  and  estates,  so  he 
injure  not  the  right  of  any  other.  Over  the 
rest  of  the  people,  if  there  were  any  that  con- 
sented not  to  the  war,  and  over  the  children  of 
the  captives  themselves,  or  the  possessions  of 
either,  he  has  no  power ;  and  so  can  have,  by 
virtue  of  conquest,  no  lawful  title  himself  to  do- 
minion over  them,  or  derive  it  to  his  posterity ; 
but  is  an  aggressor,  if  he  attempts  upon  their 
properties,  and  thereby  puts  himself  in  a  state 
of  war  against  them,  and  has  no  better  a  right 
of  principality,  he,  nor  any  of  his  successors, 
than  Hingar,  or  Hubba,  the  Danes,  had  here 
in  England;  or  Spartacus,  had  he  conquered 
Italy,  would  have  had  ;  which  is  to  have  their 
yoke  cast  off,  as  soon  as  God  shall  give  those 
under  their  subjection  courage  and  opportunity 
(o  do  it.     Thus,  notwithstanding  whatever  title 


the  kings  of  Assyria  had  over  Judah  by  the 
sword,  God  assisted  Hezekiah  to  throw  off 
the  dominion  of  that  conquering  empire.  And 
the  Lord  was  with  Hezekiah,  and  he  prospered ; 
zvherefore  he  went  forth,  and  he  rebelled  against 
the  king  of  Assyria,  and  served  him  not,  2  Kings 
xviii.  7.  Whence  it  is  plain,  that  shaking  off 
a  power,  which  force,  and  not  right,  hath  set 
over  any  one,  though  it  hath  the  name  of 
rebellion,  yet  is  no  offence  before  God,  but  is 
that  which  he  allows  and  countenances,  though 
even  promises  and  covenants,  when  obtained  by 
force,  have  intervened  :  for  it  is  very  probable, 
to  any  one  that  reads  the  story  of  Ahaz  and 
Hezekiah  attentively,  that  the  Assyrians  sub- 
dued Ahaz,  and  deposed  him,  and  made  He- 
zekiah king  in  his  father's  life-time ;  and  that 
Haekiah  by  agreement  had  done  him  homage, 
and  paid  him  tribute  all  this  time. 



\.  197.  As  conquest  may  be  called  a  foreign 
usurpation,  so  usurpation  is  a  kind  of  domestic 
conquest,  with  this  difference,  that  an  usurper 
can  never  have  right  on  his  side,  it  being  no 
usurpation,  but  where  one  is  got  into  the  pos- 
session oj  what  another  has  a  right  to.  This, 
so  far  as  it  is  usurpation,  is  a  change  only  of 
persons,  but  not  of  the  forms  and  rules  of  the 


government :  for  if  the  usurper  extend  his  powei 
beyond  what  of  right  belonged  to  the  lawful 
princes,  or  governors  of  the  commonwealth,  it 
is  tyranny  added  to  usurpation. 

§.  198.  In  all  lawful  governments,  the  desig- 
nation of  the  persons,  who  are  to  bear  rule,  is 
as  natural  and  necessary  a  part  as  the  form  of 
the  government  itself,  and  is  that  which  had  its 
establishment  originally  from  the  people;  the 
anarchy  being  much  alike,  to  have  no  form  of 
government  at  all ;  or  to  agree,  that  it  shall  be 
monarchical,  but  to  appoint  no  way  to  design 
the  person  that  shall  have  the  power,  and  be 
the  monarch.  Hence  all  commonwealths,  with 
the  form  of  government  established,  have  rules 
also  of  appointing  those  who  are  to  have  any 
share  in  the  public  authority,  and  settled  me- 
thods of  conveying  the  right  to  them :  for  the 
anarchy  is  much  alike,  to  have  no  form  of 
government  at  all :  or  to  agree  that  it  shall  be 
monarchical,  but  to  appoint  no  way  to  know 
or  design  the  person  that  shall  have  the  power, 
and  be  the  monarch.  Whoever  gets  into  the 
exercise  of  any  part  of  the  power,  by  other 
ways  than  what  the  laws  of  the  community 
have  prescribed,  hath  no  right  to  be  obeyed, 
though  the  form  of  the  commonwealth  be  still 
preserved ;  since  he  is  not  the  person  the 
laws  have  appointed,  and  consequently  not  the 
person  the  people  have  consented  to.  Nor  can 
such  an  usurper,  or  any  deriving  from  him, 
ever  have   a  title,  till  the  people  arc  both  at 


liberty  to  consent,  and  have  actually  consented 
to  allow,  and  confirm  in  him  the  power  he  hath 
till  then  usurped. 



§.  199.  As  usurpation  is  the  exercise  of 
power,  which  another  hath  a  right  to  ;  so  tyranny 
is  the  exdrcise  of  power  beyond  right,  which  no 
body  can  have  a  right  to.  And  this  is  making 
use  of  the  power  any  one  has  in  his  hands,  not 
for  the  good  of  those  who  are  under  it,  but  for 
his  own  private  separate  advantage.  When  the 
governor,  however  intitled,  makes  not  the  law, 
but  his  will  the  rule ;  and  his  commands  and 
actions  are  not  directed  to  the  preservation  of 
the  properties  of  his  people,  but  the  satisfaction 
of  his  own  ambition,  revenge,  covetousness,  or 
any  other  irregular  passion. 

§.  200.  If  one  can  doubt  this  to  be  truth,  or 
reason,  because  it  comes  from  the  obscure  hand 
of  a  subject,  I  hope  the  authority  of  a  king  will 
make  it  pass  with  him.  King  James  the  first 
in  his  speech  to  the  parliament,  1603,  tells 
them  thus,  I  will  ever  prefer  the  weal  of  the 
public,  and  of  the  whole  commonwealth,  in 
making  of  good  laws  and  constitutions,  to  any 
particular  and  private  ends  oj  mine;  thinking 
ever  the  wealth  and  weal  of  the  commonwealth  to 
be  my  greatest  weal  and  worldly  felicity;  a  point 


wherein  a  lawful  kino-  doth  directly  differ  from 
a  tyrant :  for  I  do  acknowledge,  that  the  special 
and  greatest  point  of  difference  that  is  between 
a  rightful  king  and  an  usurping  tyrant,  is  this, 
that  whereas  the  proud  and  ambitious  tyrant 
doth  think  his  kindgom  and  people  are  only 
ordained  for  satisfaction  of  his  desires  and  un- 
reasonable appetites,  the  righteous  and  just  Icing 
doth  by  the  contrary  acknowledge  himself  to  be 
ordained  for  the  prociuing  of  the  wealth  and 
property  of  his  people.  And  again,  in  his  speech 
to  the  parliament,  1009,  he  hath  these  words, 
The  king  binds  himself  by  a  double  oath,  to  the 
observation  of  the  fundamental  laws  of  his  king- 
dom ;  tacitly,  as  by  being  a  king,  and  so  bound 
to  protect  as  well  the  people,  as  the  laws  of  his 
kingdom  ;  and  expressly,  by  his  oath  at  his  coro- 
nation ;  so  as  every  just  king,  in  a  settled  king- 
dom, is  bound  to  observe  that  paction  to  his 
people,  by  his  laws,  in  framing  his  government 
agreeable  thereunto,  according  to  that  paction 
which  God  made  with  Noah  after  the  deluge. 
Hereafter,  seed-time  and  harvest,  and  cold  and 
heat,  and  summer  and  winter,  and  day  and  night, 
shall  not  cease  while  the  earth  remaineth.  And 
therefore  a  king  governing  in  a  settled  kingdom, 
leaves  to  be  a  king,  and  degenerates  into  a  tyrant, 
as  soon  as  he  leaves  off  to  rule  according  to  his 
laws.  And  a  little  after,  Therefore  all  kings 
that  are  not  tyrants,  or  perjured,  will  be  glad  to 
bound  themselves  within  the  limits  of  their  laws; 
and  they-  that  persuade  them  the  contrary,  arc 


vipers,  and  pests  both  against  them  and  the 
commonwealth.  Thus  that  learned  king,  who 
well  understood  the  notion  of  things,  makes 
the  difference  betwixt  a  king  and  a  tyrant  to 
consist  only  in  this,  that  one  makes  the  laws 
the  bounds  of  his  power,  and  the  good  of  the 
public,  the  end  of  his  government;  the  other 
makes  all  give  way  to  his  own  will  and  appetite. 

§.  201.  It  is  a  mistake,  to  think  this  fault  is 
proper  only  to  monarchies :  other  forms  of 
government  are  liable  to  it,  as  well  as  that :  for 
wherever  the  power,  that  is  put  in  any  hands 
for  the  government  of  the  people,  and  the 
preservation  of  their  properties,  is  applied  to 
other  ends,  and  made  use  of  to  impoverish, 
harass,  or  subdue  them  to  the  arbitrary  and 
irregular  commands  of  those  that  have  it;  there 
it  presently  becomes  tyranny,  whether  those 
that  thus  use  it  are  one  or  many,  Thus  we 
read  of  the  thirty  tyrants  at  Athens,  as  well  as 
one  at  Syracuse;  and  the  intolerable  dominion 
of  the  Decemviri  at  Rome  was  nothing  better. 

§.  202.  Wherever  law  ends,  tyranny  begins, 
if  the  law  be  transgressed  to  another's  harm ; 
and  him  whosoever  in  authority  exceeds  the 
power  given  him  by  the  law,  and  makes  use  of 
the  force  he  has  under  his  command,  to  com- 
pass that  upon  the  subject,  which  the  law 
allows  not,  ceases  in  that  to  be  a  magistrate ; 
and,  acting  without  authority,  may  be  opposed, 
as  any  other  man,  who  by  force  invades  the 
right   of  another.     This    is    acknowledged   in 

OF    CIVIL    GOVERNMENT.  .}(;.'} 

subordinate  magistrates.  He  that  hath  autho- 
rity to  seize  my  person  in  the  street,  may  he 
opposed  as  a  thief  and  a  robber,  if  he  endeavours 
to  break  into  my  house  to  execute  a  writ, 
notwithstanding  that  I  know  he  has  such  a 
warrant,  and  such  a  legal  authority,  as  will 
impower  him  to  arrest  me  abroad.  And  why 
this  should  not  hold  in  the  highest,  as  well  as 
in  the  most  inferior  magistrate,  I  would  gladly 
be  informed.  Is  it  reasonable,  that  the  eldest 
brother,  because  he  has  the  greatest  part  of  his 
father's  estate,  should  thereby  have  a  right  to 
take  away  any  of  his  younger  brothers  portions  ? 
or  that  a  rich  man,  who  possessed  a  whole 
country,  should  from  thence  have  a  right  to 
seize,  when  he  pleased,  the  cottage  and  garden 
of  his  poor  neighbour?  The  being  rightfully 
possessed  of  great  power  and  riches,  exceed- 
ingly beyond  the  greatest  part  of  the  sons  of 
Adam,  is  so  far  from  being  an  excuse,  much  less 
a  reason,  for  rapine  and  oppression,  which  the 
endamaging  another  without  authority  is,  that 
it  is  a  great  aggravation  of  it:  for  the  exceeding 
the  bounds  of  authority  is  no  more  a  right  in  a 
great,  than  in  a  petty  officer;  no  more  justifiable 
in  a  king  than  a  constable  ;  but  it  is  so  much  the 
worse  in  him,  in  that  he  has  more  trust  put  in 
him,  has  already  a  much  greater  share  than  the 
rest  of  his  brethren,  and  is  supposed,  from  the 
advantages  of  his  education,  employment,  and 
counsellors,  to  be  more  knowing  in  the  mea- 
sures of  right  and  wrong. 


§.  203.  May  the  commands  then  of  a  prince 
be  opposed  ?  may  he  be  resisted  as  often  as  any 
one  shall  find  himself  aggrieved,  and  but  imagine 
he  has  not  right  done  him  ?  This  will  unhinge 
and  overturn  all  polities,  and,  instead  of  govern- 
ment and  order,  leave  nothing  but  anarchy  and 

§.  204.  To  this  I  answer,  that  force  is  to  be 
opposed  to  nothing,  but  to  unjust  and  unlawful 
force;  whoever  makes  any  opposition  in  any 
other  case,  draws  on  himself  a  just  condem- 
nation both  from  God  and  man ;  and  so  no 
danger  or  confusion  will  follow,  as  is  often 
suggested,  for, 

§.  205.  First,  As,  in  some  countries,  the 
person  of  the  prince  by  the  law  is  sacred  ;  and 
so,  whatever  he  commands  or  does,  his  person 
is  still  free  from  all  question  or  violence,  not 
liable  to  force,  or  any  judicial  censure  or  con- 
demnation. But  yet  opposition  may  be  made 
to  the  illegal  acts  of  any  inferior  officer,  or 
other  commissioned  by  him  ;  unless  he  will,  by 
actually  putting  himself  into  a  state  of  war  with 
his  people,  dissolve  the  government,  and  leave 
them  to  that  defence  which  belongs  to  every 
one  in  the  state  of  nature :  for  of  such  things 
who  can  tell  what  the  end  will  be?  and  a 
neighbour  kingdom  has  shewed  the  world  an 
odd  example.  In  all  other  cases  the  sacredness 
of  the  person  exempts  him  from  all  inconveniences , 
whereby  he  is  secure,  whilst  the  government 
stands,   from   all    violence   and  harm,  whatso- 


over  ;  than  which  there  cannot  be  a  wiser  con- 
stitution :  for  the  harm  he  can  do  in  his  own 
person  not  being  likely  to  happen  often,  nor  to 
extend  itself  far;  nor  being  able  by  his  single 
strength  to  subvert  the  laws,  nor  oppress  the 
body  of  the  people,  should  any  prince  have  so 
much  weakness,  and  ill-nature,  as  to  be  willing 
to  do  it,  the  inconveniency  of  some  partieular 
mischiefs,  that  may  happen  sometimes,  when 
a  heady  prince  comes  to  the  throne,  are  well 
recompensed  by  the  peace  of  the  public,  and 
security  of  the  government,  in  the  person  of 
the  chief  magistrate,  thus  set  out  of  the  reach 
of  danger :  it  being  safer  for  the  body,  that  some 
few  private  men  should  be  sometimes  in  danger 
to  suffer,  than  that  the  head  of  the  republic 
should  be  easily,  and  upon  slight  occasions, 

§.  206.  Secondly,  But  this  privilege,  belonging- 
only  to  the  king's  person,  hinders  not,  but  they 
may  be  questioned,  opposed,  and  resisted,  who 
use  unjust  force,  though  they  pretend  a  com- 
mission from  him,  which  the  law  authorizes 
not ;  as  is  plain  in  the  case  of  him  that  has  the 
king's  writ  to  arrest  a  man,  which  is  a  full  com- 
mission from  the  king ;  and  yet  he  that  lias  it 
cannot  break  open  a  man's  house  to  do  it,  nor 
execute  this  command  of  the  king  upon  certain 
days,  nor  in  certain  places,  though  this  com- 
mission have  no  such  exception  in  it ;  but  they 
are  the  limitations  of  the  law,  which  if  any  one 
transgress,  the  kings  commission  excuses  him 


not:  for  the  king's  authority  being  given  him 
only  by  the  law,  he  cannot  impower  any  one  to 
act  against  the  law,  or  justify  him,  by  his  com- 
mission, in  so  doing ;  the  commission,  or  com- 
mand of  any  magistrate,  ivhere  he  has  no 
authority,  being  as  void  and  insignificant,  as 
that  of  any  private  man  ;  the  difference  between 
the  one  and  the  other  being  that  the  magistrate 
has  some  authority  so  far,  and  to  such  ends, 
and  the  private  man  has  none  at  all :  for  it  is 
not  the  commission,  but  the  authority,  that  gives 
the  right  of  acting ;  and  against  the  laivs  there 
can  be  no  authority.  But,  notwithstanding 
such  resistance,  the  king's  person  and  authority 
are  still  both  secured,  and  so  no  danger  to 
governor  or  government. 

§.  207.  Thirdly,  Supposing  a  government 
wherein  the  person  of  the  chief  magistrate  is 
not  thus  sacred ;  yet  this  doctrine  of  the  law- 
fulness of  resisting  all  unlawful  exercises  of 
his  power,  ivill  not  upon  every  slight  occasion 
indanger  him,  or  imbroil  the  government:  for 
where  the  injured  party  may  be  relieved,  and 
his  damages  repaired  by  appeal  to  the  law, 
there  can  be  no  pretence  for  force,  which  is 
only  to  be  used  where  a  man  is  intercepted 
from  appealiug  to  the  law :  for  nothing  is  to 
be  accounted  hostile  force,  but  where  it  leaves 
not  the  remedy  of  such  an  appeal;  and  it  is 
such  force  alone,  that  puts  him  that  uses  it  into 
a  state  of  war,  and  makes  it  lawful  to  resist 
him.     A  man  with  a  sword   in   his   hand    de- 


mands  my  purse  in  the  highway,  when  perhaps 
I  have  not  twelve  pence  in  my  pocket :  this 
man  I  may  lawfully  kill.  To  another  I  deliver 
1001.  to  hold  only  whilst  I  alight,  which  he 
refuses  to  restore  me,  when  I  am  got  up  again, 
but  draws  his  sword  to  defend  the  possession 
of  it  by  force,  if  I  endeavour  to  retake  it.  The 
mischief  this  man  does  me  is  a  hundred,  or 
possibly  a  thousand  times  more  than  the  other 
perhaps  intended  me  (whom  I  killed  before  he 
really  did  me  any ;)  and  yet  1  might  lawfully 
kill  the  one,  and  cannot  so  much  as  hurt  the 
other  lawfully.  The  reason  whereof  is  plain  ; 
because  the  one  using  force,  which  threatened 
my  life,  I  could  not  have  time  to  appeal  to  the 
law  to  secure  it:  and  when  it  was  gone,  it  was 
too  late  to  appeal.  The  law  could  not  restore 
life  to  my  dead  carcass:  the  loss  was  irrepa- 
rable ;  which  to  prevent,  the  law  of  nature  gave 
me  a  right  to  destroy  him,  who  had  put  himself 
into  a  state  of  war  with  me,  and  threatened  my 
destruction.  But  in  the  other  case,  my  life  not 
being  in  danger,  I  may  have  the  benefit  of 
appealing  to  the  law,  and  have  reparation  for  my 
1001.  that  way. 

§.  208.  Fourthly,  But  if  the  unlawful  acts 
done  by  the  magistrate  be  maintained  (by  the 
power  he  has  got,)  and  the  remedy  which  is 
due  by  law  be  by  the  same  power  obstructed  ; 
yet  the  right  of  resisting,  even  in  such  manifest 
acts  of  tyranny,  will  not  suddenly,  or  on  slight 
oceasions,  disturb  the  government :  for  if  it  reach 


no  farther  than  some  private  men's  cases, 
though  they  have  a  right  to  defend  themselves, 
and  to  recover  by  force  what  by  unlawful  force 
is  taken  from  them;  yet  the  right  to  do  so  will 
not  easily  engage  them  in  a  contest,  wherein 
they  are  sure  to  perish  ;  it  being  as  impossible 
for  one,  or  a  few  oppressed  men  to  disturb  the 
government,  where  the  body  of  the  people  do 
not  think  themselves  concerned  in  it,  as  for  a 
raving  madman,  or  heady  malcontent  to  overturn 
a  well-settled  state ;  the  people  being  as  little 
apt  to  follow  the  one,  as  the  other. 

§.  209.  But  if  either  these  illegal  acts  have 
extended  to  the  majority  of  the  people ;  or  if 
the  mischief  and  oppression  has  lighted  only 
on  some  few,  but  in  such  cases,  as  the  prece- 
dent, and  consequences  seem  to  threaten  all ; 
and  they  are  persuaded  in  their  cosciences, 
that  their  laws,  and  with  them  their  estates, 
liberties,  and  lives  are  in  danger,  and  perhaps 
their  religion  too ;  how  they  will  be  hindered 
from  resisting  illegal  force,  used  against  them, 
I  cannot  tell.  This  is  an  inconvenience,  I 
confess,  that  attends  all  governments  whatso- 
ever, when  the  governors  have  brought  it  to 
this  pass,  to  be  generally  suspected  of  their 
people ;  the  most  dangerous  state  which  they 
can  possibly  put  themselves  in ;  wherein  they 
are  the  less  to  be  pitied,  because  it  is  so  easy 
to  be  avoided  ;  it  being  as  impossible  for  a 
governor,  if  he  really  means  the  good  of  his 
people,  aud  the  preservation  of  them,  and  their 


laws  together,  not  to  make  them  see  and 
feel  it,  as  it  is  for  the  father  of  a  family,  not  to 
let  his  children  see  he  loves,  and  takes  care  of 

§.  210.  But  if  all  the  world  shall  observe 
pretences  of  one  kind,  and  actions  of  another; 
arts  used  to  elude  the  law,  and  the  trust  of 
prerogative  (which  is  an  arbitrary  power  in 
some  things  left  m  the  prince's  hand  to  do 
good,  not  harm  to  the  people)  employed  con- 
trary to  the  end  for  which  it  was  given :  if  the 
people  shall  find  the  ministers  and  subordinate 
magistrates  chosen  suitable  to  such  ends,  and 
favoured,  or  laid  by,  proportionably  as  they 
promote  or  oppose  them :  if  they  see  several 
experiments  made  of  arbitrary  power,  and  that 
religion  underhand  favoured,  (though  publicly 
proclaimed  against)  which  is  readiest  to  intro- 
duce it;  and  the  operators  in  it  supported,  as 
much  as  may  be ;  and  when  that  cannot  be 
done,  yet  approved  still,  and  liked  the  better: 
If  a  long  train  of  actions  shew  the  councils 
all  tending  that  way ;  how  can  a  man  any 
more  hinder  himself  from  being  persuaded  in 
his  own  mind,  which  way  things  are  going ;  or 
from  casting  about  how  to  save  himself,  than 
he  could  from  believing  the  captain  of  the  ship 
he  was  in  was  carrying  him,  and  the  rest  of  his 
company  to  Algiers,  when  he  found  him  al- 
ways steering  that  course,  though  cross  winds, 
leaks  in  his  ship,  and  want  of  men  and  provi- 
sions did   often  force  him  to  turn  his    course 

2   B 


another  way  for  some  time,  which  he  steadily 
returned  to  again,  as  soon  as  the  wind,  wea- 
ther, and  other  circumstances  would  let  him? 


Of  the  Dissolution  of  Government. 

§.  211.  He  that  will  with  any  clearness  speak 
of  the  dissolution  of  government,  ought  in  the 
first  place  to  distinguish  between  the  dissolution 
of  the  society  and  the  dissolution  of  the  govern- 
ment. That  which  makes  the  community,  and 
brings  men  out  of  the  loose  state  of  nature, 
into  one  politic  society,  is  the  agreement  which 
every  one  has  with  the  rest  to  incorporate,  and 
act  as  one  body,  and  so  be  one  distinct  com- 
monwealth. The  usual,  and  almost  only  way 
whereby  this  union  is  dissolved,  is  the  inroad 
of  foreign  force  making  a  conquest  upon  them  : 
for  in  that  case,  (not  being  able  to  maintain 
and  support  themselves,  as  one  intire  and  in- 
dependent body)  the  union  belonging  to  that 
body  which  consisted  therein,  must  necessarily 
cease,  and  so  every  one  return  to  the  state  he 
was  in  before,  with  a  liberty  to  shift  for  him- 
self, and  provide  for  his  own  safety,  as  he 
thinks  fit,  in  some  other  society.  Whenever 
the  society  is  dissolved,  it  is  certain  the  govern- 
ment of  that  society  cannot  remain.  Thus 
conquerors  swords  often  cut  up  governments 
by  the  roots,  and  mangle  societies  to  pieces, 


.separating  the  subdued  or  scattered  multitude 
from  the  protection  of,  and  dependence  on,  that 
society,  which  ought  to  have  preserved  them 
from  violence.  The  world  is  too  well  instructed 
in,  and  too  forward  to  allow  of,  this  way  of 
dissolving  of  governments,  to  need  any  more 
to  be  said  of  it;  and  there  wants  not  much 
argument  to  prove,  that  where  the  society  is 
dissolved,  the  government  cannot  remain ;  that 
being  as  impossible,  as  for  the  frame  of  an 
house  to  subsist  when  the  materials  of  it  are 
scattered  and  dissipated  by  a  whirlwind,  or 
jumbled  into  a  confused  heap  by  an  earth- 

§.  212.    Besides  this  overturning  from  with- 
out, governments  are  dissolved  from  within, 

First,  When  the  legislative  is  altered.  Civil 
society  being  a  state  of  peace,  amongst  those 
who  are  of  it,  from  whom  the  state  of  war  is 
excluded  by  the  umpirage  which  they  have 
provided  in  their  legislative,  for  the  ending  all 
differences  that  may  arise  amongst  any  of 
them,  it  is  in  their  legislative,  that  the  members 
of  a  commonwealth  are  united,  and  combined 
together  into  one  coherent  living  body.  This 
is  the  soul  that  gives  form,  life,  and  unity,  to 
the  commonwealth:  from  hence  the  several 
members  have  their  mutual  influence,  sympathy 
and  connexion :  and  therefore,  when  the  legis- 
lative is  broken,  or  dissolved,  dissolution  and 
death  follows  :  for  the  essence  and  unity  of  the 
society  consisting  in  having  one  will,  the  legis- 


lative,  when  once  established  by  the  majority, 
has  the  declaring,  and  as  it  were  keeping  of 
that  will.  The  constitution  of  the  legislative  is 
the  first  and  fundamental  act  of  society,  where- 
by provision  is  made  for  the  continuation  of 
their  union,  under  the  direction  of  persons,  and 
bonds  of  laws,  made  by  persons  authorized 
thereunto,  by  the  consent  and  appointment 
of  the  people,  without  which  no  one  man,  or 
number  of  men,  amongst  them,  can  have  au- 
thority of  making  laws  that  shall  be  binding 
to  the  rest.  When  any  one  or  more,  shall 
take  upon  them  to  make  laws,  whom  the 
people  have  not  appointed  so  to  do,  they  make 
laws  without  authority,  which  the  people  are 
not  therefore  bound  to  obey ;  by  which  means 
they  come  again  to  be  out  of  subjection,  and 
may  constitute  to  themselves  a  new  legislative, 
as  they  think  best,  being  in  full  liberty  to  resist 
the  force  of  those,  who  without  authority 
would  impose  any  thing  upon  them.  Every 
one  is  at  the  disposure  of  his  own  will,  when 
those  who  had,  by  the  delegation  of  the  society, 
the  declaring  of  the  public  will,  are  excluded 
from  it,  and  others  usurp  the  place,  who  have 
no  such  authority  or  delegation. 

§.  213.  This  being  usually  brought  about  by 
such  in  the  commonwealth  who  misuse  the 
power  they  have ;  it  is  hard  to  consider  it 
aright,  and  know  at  whose  door  to  lay  it, 
without  knowing  the  form  of  government  in 
which  it  happens.      Let  us.  suppose  then  the 


legislative  placed  in  the  concurrence  of  three 
distinct  persons. 

1.  A  single  hereditary  person,  having  the 
constant,  supreme,  executive  power,  and  with 
it  the  power  of  convoking-  and  dissolving  the 
other  two  within  certain  periods  of  time. 

2.  An  assembly  of  hereditary  nobility. 

3.  An  assembly  of  representatives  chosen, 
pro  tempore,  by  the  people.  Such  a  form  of 
government  supposed,  it  is  evident, 

§.  214.  First,  That  when  such  a  single  per- 
son, or  prince,  sets  up  his  own  arbitrary  will 
in  place  of  the  laws,  which  are  the  will  of  the 
society,  declared  by  the  legislative,  then  the 
legislative  is  changed:  for  that  being  in  effect 
the  legislative,  whose  rules  and  laws  are  put 
in  execution,  and  required  to  be  obeyed  ;  when 
other  laws  are  set  up,  and  other  rules  pre- 
tended, and  inforced,  than  what  the  legislative 
constituted  by  the  society  have  enacted,  it  is 
plain  that  the  legislative  is  changed.  Whoever 
introduces  new  laws,  not  being  thereunto  au- 
thorized by  the  fundamental  appointment  of 
the  society,  or  subverts  the  old,  disowns  and 
overturns  the  power  by  which  they  were  made, 
and  so  sets  up  a  new  legislative. 

§.  215.  Secondly,  When  the  prince  hinders 
the  legislative  from  assembling  in  its  due  time, 
or  from  acting  freely,  pursuant  to  those  ends 
for  which  it  was  constituted,  the  legislative  is 
altered:  for  it  is  not  a  certain  number  of  men, 
no,  nor  their  meeting,  unless  they  have  also 


freedom  of  debating,  and  leisure  of  perfecting, 
what  is  for  the  good  of  the  society,  wherein 
the  legislative  consists :  when  these  are  taken 
away  or  altered,  so  as  to  deprive  the  society  of 
the  due  exercise  of  their  power,  the  legislative 
is  truly  altered  ;  for  it  is  not  names  that  consti- 
tute governments,  but  the  use  and  exercise  of 
those  powers  that  were  intended  to  accompany 
them  ;  so  that  he,  who  takes  away  the  freedom, 
or  hinders  the  acting  of  the  legislative  in  its 
due  seasons,  in  effect  takes  away  the  legislative, 
and  puts  an  end  to  the  government. 

§.  216.  Thirdly,  When,  by  the  arbitrary 
power  of  the  prince,  the  electors,  or  ways  of 
election  are  altered,  without  the  consent,  and 
contrary  to  the  common  interest  of  the  people, 
there  also  the  legislative  is  altered:  for,  if  others 
than  those  whom  the  society  hath  authorized 
thereunto,  do  chuse,  or  in  another  way  than 
what  the  society  hath  prescribed,  those  chosen 
are  not  the  legislatived  appointed  by  the 

§.  217.  Fourthly,  The  delivery  also  of  the 
people  into  subjection  of  a  foreign  power,  either 
by  the  prince,  or  by  the  legislative,  is  certainly 
a  change  of  the  legislative,  and  so  a  dissolution 
of  the  government :  for  the  end  why  people  en- 
tered into  society  being  to  be  preserved  one 
intire,  free,  independent  society,  to  be  governed 
by  its  own  laws  ;  this  is  lost,  whenever  they  are 
given  up  into  the  power  of  another. 

§.  218.  Why,  in  such  a  constitution   as  this, 


the  dissolution  of  the  government  in  these  cases 
is  to  be  imputed  to  the  prince,  is  evident;  be- 
cause he  having-  the  force,  treasure  and  oiiices 
of  the  state  to  employ,  and  often  persuading 
himself,  or  being  flattered  by  others,  that  as 
supreme  magistrate  he  is  uncapable  of  con- 
troul ;  he  alone  is  in  a  condition  to  make  great 
advances  toward  such  changes,  under  pretence 
of  lawful  authority,  and  has  it  in  his  hands 
to  terrify  or  suppress  opposers,  as  factious, 
seditious,  and  enemies  to  the  government: 
whereas  no  other  part  of  the  legislative,  or 
people,  is  capable  by  themselves  to  attempt 
any  alteration  of  the  legislative,  without  open 
and  visible  rebellion,  apt  enough  to  be  taken 
notice  of,  which,  when  it  prevails,  produces 
effects  very  little  different  from  foreign  con- 
quest. Besides,  the  prince  in  such  a  form  of 
government,  having  the  power  of  dissolving  the 
other  parts  of  the  legislative,  and  thereby  ren- 
dering them  private  persons,  they  can  never  in 
opposition  to  him,  or  without  his  concurrence, 
alter  the  legislative  by  a  law,  his  consent  being 
necessary  to  give  any  of  their  decrees  that 
sanction.  But  yet,  so  far  as  the  other  parts 
of  the  legislative  any  way  contribute  to  any 
attempt  upon  the  government,  and  do  either 
promote,  or  not,  what  lies  in  them,  hinder  such 
designs,  they  are  guilty,  and  partake  in  this, 
which  is  certainly  the  greatest  crime  men  can 
be  guilty  of  one  towards  another. 

§.  2 If)    There   is   one    way    more   whereby 


such  a  government  may  be  dissolved,  and  that 
is,  when  he  who  has  the  supreme  executive 
power  neglects  and  abandons  that  charge,  so 
that  the  laws  already  made  can  no  longer  be 
put  in  execution.  This  is  demonstratively  to 
reduce  all  to  anarchy,  and  so  effectually  to 
dissolve  the  government:  for  laws  not  being 
made  for  themselves,  but  to  be,  by  their  ex- 
ecution, the  bonds  of  the  society,  to  keep 
every  part  of  the  body  politic  in  its  due 
place  and  function ;  when  that  totally  ceases, 
the  government  visibly  ceases,  and  the  people 
become  a  confused  multitude,  without  order 
or  connexion.  Where  there  is  no  longer  the 
administration  of  justice,  for  the  securing  of 
men's  rights,  nor  any  remaining  power  within 
the  community  to  direct  the  force,  or  provide 
for  the  necessities  of  the  public,  there  certainly 
is  no  government  left.  Where  the  laws  cannot 
be  executed,  it  is  all  one  as  if  there  were  no 
laws ;  and  a  government  without  laws  is,  I 
suppose,  a  mystery  in  politics,  unconceivable 
to  human  capacity,  and  inconsistent  with  hu- 
man society. 

§.  220.  In  these  and  the  like  cases,  when  the 
government  is  dissolved,  the  people  are  at 
liberty  to  provide  for  themselves,  by  erecting  a 
new  legislative,  differing  from  the  other,  by  the 
change  of  persons,  or  form,  or  both,  as  they  shall 
find  it  most  for  their  safety  and  good :  for  the 
society  can  never,  by  the  fault  of  another,  lose 
the  native  and  original  right  it  has  to  preserve 


itself,  which  can  only  be  done  by  a  settled 
legislative,  and  a  fair  and  impartial  execution 
of  the  laws  made  by  it.  But  the  state  of  man- 
kind is  not  so  miserable  that  they  are  not 
capable  of  using  this  remedy,  till  it  be  too  late 
to  look  for  any.  To  tell  people  they  may 
provide  for  themselves,  by  erecting  a  new  legis- 
lative, when  by  oppression,  artifice,  or  being 
delivered  over  to  a  foreign  power,  their  old 
one  is  gone,  is  only  to  tell  them,  they  may 
expect  relief  when  it  is  too  late,  and  the  evil  is 
past  cure.  This  is  in  effect  no  more  than  to 
bid  them  first  be  slaves,  and  then  to  take  care 
of  their  liberty ;  and  when  their  chains  are  on, 
tell  them,  they  may  act  like  freemen.  This,  if 
barely  so,  is  rather  mockery  than  relief;  and 
men  can  never  be  secure  from  tyranny,  if  there 
be  no  means  to  escape  it  till  they  are  perfectly 
under  it :  and  therefore  it  is  that  they  have  not 
only  a  right  to  get  out  of  it,  but  to  prevent  it. 

§.  221.  There  is  therefore,  secondly,  another 
way  whereby  governments  are  dissolved,  and 
that  is,  when  the  legislative,  or  the  prince, 
either  of  them,  act  contrary  to  their  trust. 

First,  The  legislative  acts  against  the  trust 
reposed  in  them,  when  they  endeavour  to 
invade  the  property  of  the  subject,  and  to  make 
themselves,  or  any  part  of  the  community, 
masters,  or  arbitrary  disposers  of  the  lives, 
liberties,  or  fortunes  of  the  people. 

§.  2*22.  The  reason  why  men  enter  into 
society,  is  the   preservation  of  their  property; 


and  the  end  why  they  ehuse  and  authorize  a 
legislative,  is,  that  there  may  be  laws  made, 
and  rules  set,  as  guards  and  fences  to  the 
properties  of  all  the  members  of  the  society,  to 
limit  the  power,  and  moderate  the  dominion  of 
every  part  and  member  of  the  society :  for  since 
it  can  never  be  supposed  to  be  the  will  of  the 
society,  that  the  legislative  should  have  a  power 
to  destroy  that  which  every  one  designs  to 
secure,  by  entering  into  society,  and  for  which 
the  people  submitted  themselves  to  legislators 
of  their  own  making  ;  whenever  the  legislators 
endeavour  to  takeaway,  and  destroy  the  property 
of  the  people,  or  to  reduce  them  to  slavery 
under  arbitrary  power,  they  put  themselves 
into  a  state  of  war  with  the  people,  who  are 
thereupon  absolved  from  any  farther  obedience, 
and  are  left  to  the  common  refuge,  which  God 
hath  provided  for  all  men,  against  force  and 
violence.  Whensoever  therefore  the  legislative 
shall  transgress  this  fundamental  rule  of  society ; 
and  either  by  ambition,  fear,  folly  or  corrup- 
tion, endeavour  to  grasp  themselves,  or  put  into 
the  hands  of  any  other,  an  absolute  power  over 
the  lives,  liberties,  and  estates  of  the  people ; 
by  this  breach  of  trust  they  forfeit  the  power 
the  people  had  put  into  their  hands  for  quite 
contrary  ends,  and  it  devolves  to  the  people, 
who  have  a  right  to  resume  their  original  liberty, 
and,  by  the  establishment  of  a  new  legislative, 
(such  as  they  shall  think  fit)  provide  for  their 
own  safety   and  security,   which  is  the  end  for 


which  they  are  in  society.  What  I  have  said 
here,  concerning  the  legislative  in  general, 
holds  true  also  concerning  the  supreme  execu- 
tor, who  having  a  double  trust  put  in  him,  both 
to  have  a  part  in  the  legislative,  and  the 
supreme  execution  of  the  law,  acts  against 
both,  when  he  goes  about  to  set  up  his  own 
arbitrary  will  as  the  law  of  the  society.'  He 
acts  also  contrary  to  his  trust,  when  he  either 
employs  the  force,  treasure,  and  offices  of  the 
society,  to  corrupt  the  representatives,  and  gain 
them  to  his  purposes ;  or  openly  pre-engages 
the  electors,  and  prescribes  to  their  choice, 
such,  whom  he  has  by  solicitations,  threats, 
promises,  or  otherwise,  won  to  his  designs ; 
and  employs  them  to  bring  in  such,  who  have 
promised  beforehand  what  to  vote,  and  what 
to  enact.  Thus  to  regulate  candidates  and 
electors,  and  new-model  the  ways  of  election, 
what  is  it  but  to  cut  up  the  government  by  the 
roots,  and  poison  the  very  fountain  of  public 
security?  for  the  people  having  reserved  to 
themselves  the  choice  of  their  representatives, 
as  the  fence  to  their  properties,  could  do  it  for 
no  other  end,  but  that  they  might  always  be 
freely  chosen,  and  so  chosen,  freely  act,  and 
advise,  as  the  necessity  of  the  common-wealth, 
and  the  public  good  should  upon  examination, 
and  mature  debate,  be  judged  to  require.  This, 
those  who  give  their  votes  before  they  hear  the 
debate,  and  have  weighed  the  reasons  on  all 
sides,  are  not  capable  of  doing.    To  prepare 


such  an  assembly  as  this,  and  endeavour  to 
set  up  the  declared  abettors  of  his  own  will, 
for  the  true  representatives  of  the  people,  and 
the  law-makers  of  the  society,  is  certainly  as 
great  a  breach  of  trust,  and  as  perfect  a  decla- 
ration of  a  design  to  subvert  the  government, 
as  is  possible  to  be  met  with.  To  which,  if  one 
shall  add  rewards  and  punishments  visibly 
employed  to  the  same  end,  and  all  the  arts  of 
perverted  law  made  use  of  to  take  off  and 
destroy  all  that  stand  in  the  way  of  such  a 
design,  and  will  not  comply  and  consent  to 
betray  the  liberties  of  their  country,  it  will  be 
past  doubt  what  is  doing.  What  power  they 
ought  to  have  in  the  society,  who  thus  employ 
it  contrary  to  the  trust  went  along  with  it  in  its 
first  institution,  is  easy  to  determine ;  and  one 
cannot  but  see,  that  he,  who  has  once  attempted 
any  such  thing  as  this,  cannot  any  longer  be 

§.  223.  To  this  perhaps  it  will  be  said,  that 
the  people  being  ignorant,  and  always  discon- 
tented, to  lay  the  foundation  of  government  in 
the  unsteady  opinion  and  uncertain  humour  of 
the  people,  is  to  expose  it  to  certain  ruin :  and 
710  government  rcillbe  able  long  to  subsist,  if  the 
people  may  set  up  a  new  legislative,  whenever 
they  take  offence  at  the  old  one.  To  this  I 
answer,  Quite  the  contrary.  People  are  not 
so  easily  got  out  of  their  old  forms,  as  some  are 
apt  to  suggest.  They  are  hardly  to  be  prevailed 
with  to  amend  the  acknowledged  faults  in  the 


frame  they  have  been  accustomed  to.  And  if 
there  be  any  original  defects,  or  adventitious 
ones  introduced  by  time,  or  corruption ;  it  is 
not  an  easy  thing-  to  be  changed,  even  when 
all  the  world  sees  there  is  an  opportunity  for  it. 
This  slowness  and  aversion  in  the  people  to 
quit  their  old  constitutions,  has,  in  the  many 
revolutions  which  have  been  seen  in  this  king- 
dom, in  this  and  former  ages,  still  kept  us  to, 
or,  after  some  interval  of  fruitless  attempts,  still 
brought  us  back  again  to  our  old  legislative  of 
king,  lords  and  commons:  and  whatever 
provocations  have  made  the  crown  be  taken 
from  some  of  our  princes  heads,  they  never 
carried  the  people  so  far  as  to  place  it  in 
another  line. 

§.  224.  But  it  will  be  said,  this  hypothesis 
lays  a  ferment  for  frequent  rebellion.  To  which 
I  answer, 

First,  No  more  than  any  other  hypothesis : 
for  when  the  people  are  made  miserable,  and 
find  themselves  exposed  to  the  ill  usage  of  arbi- 
trary power,  cry  up  their  governors,  as  much  as 
you  will,  for  sOns  of  Jupiter ;  let  them  be 
sacred  and  divine,  descended,  or  authorized 
from  heaven  :  give  them  out  for  whom  or  what 
you  please,  the  same  will  happen.  The  people 
generally  ill  treated,  and  contrary  to  right,  will 
be  ready  upon  any  occasion  to  ease  themselves 
of  a  burden  that  sits  heavy  upon  them.  They 
will  wish,  and  seek  for  the  opportunity,  which 
in    the   change,    weakness    and    accidents    of 


human  affairs,  seldom  delays  long  to  offer 
itself.  He  must  have  lived  but  a  little  while  in 
the  world,  who  has  not  seen  examples  of  this 
in  his  time :  and  he  must  have  read  very  little, 
who  cannot  produce  examples  of  it  in  all  sorts 
of  governments  in  the  world. 

§.  225.  Secondly,  I  answer,  such  revolutions 
happen  not  upon  every  little  mismanagement  in 
public  affairs.  Great  mistakes  in  the  ruling 
part,  many  wrong  and  inconvenient  laws,  and 
all  the  slips  of  human  frailty,  will  be  borne  by 
the  people  without  mutiny  or  murmur.  But  if  a 
long  train  of  abuses,  prevarications  and  artifices, 
all  tending  the  same  way,  make  the  design 
visible  to  the  people,  and  they  cannot  but  feel 
what  they  lie  under,  and  see  whither  they  are 
going ;  it  is  not  to  be  wondered  at,  that  they 
should  then  rouze  themselves,  and  endeavour 
to  put  the  rule  into  such  hands  which  may 
secure  to  them  the  ends  for  which  government 
was  at  first  erected  ;  and  without  which,  ancient 
names,  and  specious  forms,  are  so  far  from 
being  better,  that  they  are  much  worse,  than  the 
state  of  nature,  or  pure  anarchy ;  the  incon- 
veniencies  being  all  as  great  and  as  near,  but 
the  remedy  farther  off  and  more  difficult. 

§.  226.  Thirdly,  I  answer,  that  this  doctrine 
of  a  power  in  the  people  of  providing  for  their 
safety  a-new,  by  a  new  legislative,  when  their 
legislators  have  acted  contrary  to  their  trust, 
by  invading  their  property,  is  the  best  fence 
against  rebellion,  and  the  probablest  means  to 


hinder  it :  for  rebellion  being  an  opposition,  not 
to  persons,  but  authority,  which  is  founded 
only  in  the  constitutions  and  laws  of  the 
government ;  those,  whoever  they  be,  who  by 
force  break  through,  and  by  force  justify  their 
violation  of  them,  are  truly  and  properly  rebels: 
for  when  men,  by  entering  into  society  and 
civil  government,  have  excluded  force,  and 
introduced  laws  for  the  preservation  of  property, 
peace,  and  unity  amongst  themselves,  those  who 
set  up  force  again  in  opposition  to  the  laws,  do 
rebellare,  that  is,  bring  back  again  the  state  of 
war,  and  are  properly  rebels :  which  they  who 
are  in  power,  (by  the  pretence  they  have  to 
authority,  the  temptation  of  force  they  have  in 
their  hands,  and  the  flattery  of  those  about 
them)  being  likeliest  to  do ;  the  properest  way 
to  prevent  the  evil,  is  to  shew  them  the  danger 
and  injustice  of  it,  who  are  under  the  greatest 
temptation  to  run  into  it. 

§.  227.  In  both  the  forementioned  cases, 
when  either  the  legislative  is  changed,  or  the 
legislators  act  contrary  to  the  end  for  which 
they  were  constituted ;  those  who  are  guilty 
are  guilty  of  rebellion:  for  if  any  one  by  force 
takes  away  the  established  legislative  of  any 
society,  and  the  laws  by  them  made,  pursuant 
to  their  trust,  he  thereby  takes  away  the  um- 
pirage, which  every  one  had  consented  to,  for 
a  peaceable  decision  of  all  their  controversies, 
and  a  bar  to  the  state  of  war  amongst  them. 
They,  who  remove,   or  change,  the  legislative, 


take  away  this  decisive  power,  which  no  body 
can  have,  but  by  the  appointment  and  consent 
of  the  people ;  and  so  destroying  the  authority 
which  the  people  did,  and  nobody  else  can  set 
up,  and  introducing  a  power  which  the  people 
hath  not  authorized,  they  actually  introduce 
a  state  of  ivar,  which  is  that  of  force  without 
authority:  and  thus,  by  removing  the  legisla- 
tive established  by  the  society,  (in  whose 
decisions  the  people  acquiesced  and  united,  as 
to  that  of  their  own  will)  they  untie  the  knot, 
and  expose  the  jteople  a-new  to  the  state  of  ivar. 
And  if  those,  who  by  force  take  away  the  legis- 
lative, are  rebels,  the  legislators  themselves,  as 
has  been  shewn,  can  be  no  less  esteemed  so; 
when  they,  who  were  set  up  for  the  protection, 
and  preservation  of  the  people,  their  liberties 
and  properties,  shall  by  force  invade  and  en- 
deavour to  take  them  away ;  and  so  they 
putting  themselves  into  a  state  of  war  with 
those  who  made  them  the  protectors  and  guar- 
dians of  their  peace,  are  properly,  and  with  the 
greatest  aggravation,  rebellantes,  rebels. 

§.  228.  But  if  they,  who  say  it  lays  a  foun- 
dation for  rebellion,meim  that  it  may  occasion 
civil  wars,  or  intestine  broils,  to  tell  the  people 
they  are  absolved  from  obedience  when  illegal 
attempts  are  made  upon  their  liberties  or  pro- 
perties, and  may  oppose  the  unlawful  violence 
of  those  who  were  their  magistrates,  when  they 
invade  their  properties  contrary  to  the  trust 
put  in  them ;  and  that  therefore  this  doctrine 


is  not  to  be  allowed,  being  so  destructive  to 
the  peace  of  the  world  :  they  may  as  well  say, 
upon  the  same  ground,  that  honest  men  may 
not  oppose  robbers  or  pirates,  because  this 
may  occasion  disorder  or  bloodshed.  If  any 
mischief  come  in  such  cases,  it  is  not  to  be 
charged  upon  him  who  defends  his  own  right, 
but  on  him  that  invades  his  neighbours.  If  the 
innocent  honest  man  must  quietly  quit  all  he 
has,  for  peace  sake,  to  him  who  will  lay  violent 
hands  upon  it,  1  desire  it  may  be  considered, 
what  a  kind  of  peace  there  will  be  in  the 
world,  which  consists  only  in  violence  and 
rapine;  and  which  is  to  be  maintained  only  for 
the  benefit  of  robbers  and  oppressors.  Who 
would  not  think  it  an  admirable  peace  betwixt 
the  mighty  and  the  mean,  when  the  lamb, 
without  resistance,  yielded  his  throat  to  be 
torn  by  the  imperious  wolf  ?  Polyphemus  's  den 
gives  us  a  perfect  pattern  of  such  a  peace, 
and  such  a  government,  wherein  Ulysses  and 
his  companions  had  nothing  to  do,  but  quietly 
to  suffer  themselves  to  be  devoured.  And  no 
doubt  Ulysses,  who  was  a  prudent  man,  prea- 
ched up  passive  obedience,  and  exhorted  them 
to  a  quiet  submission,  by  representing  to  them 
of  what  concernment  peace  was  to  mankind ; 
and  by  shewing  the  inconveniencies  might  hap- 
pen, if  they  should  offer  to  resist  Polyphemus, 
who  had  now  the  power  over  them. 

§.  229.  The  end  of  government  is  the  good 
of  mankind ;  and  which  is  best  for  mankind, 

2  c 


that  the  people  should  be  always  exposed  to 
the  boundless  will  of  tyranny,  or  that  the 
rulers  should  be  sometimes  liable  to  be  oppo- 
sed, when  they  grow  exorbitant  in  the  use  of 
their  power,  and  employ  it  for  the  destruction, 
and  not  the  preservation  of  the  properties  of 
their  people  ? 

§.  230.  Nor  let  any  one  say,  that  mischief 
can  arise  from  hence,  as  often  as  it  shall  please 
a  busy  head,  or  turbulent  spirit,  to  desire  the 
alteration  of  the  government.  It  is  true,  such 
men  may  stir,  whenever  they  please ;  but  it 
will  be  only  to  their  own  just  ruin  and  perdi- 
tion :  for  till  the  mischief  be  grown  general, 
and  the  ill  designs  of  the  rulers  become  visible, 
or  their  attempts  sensible  to  the  greater  part, 
the  people,  who  are  more  disposed  to  suffer  than 
right  themselves  by  resistance,  are  not  apt  to 
stir.  The  examples  of  particular  injustice,  or 
oppression  of  here  and  there  an  unfortunate 
man,  moves  them  not.  But  if  they  universally 
have  a  persuasion,  grounded  upon  manifest 
evidence,  that  designs  are  carrying  on  against 
their  liberties,  and  the  general  course  and 
tendency  of  things  cannot  but  give  them 
strong  suspicions  of  the  evil  intention  of  their 
governors,  who  is  to  be  blamed  for  it?  Who 
can  help  it,  if  they,  who  might  avoid  it,  bring 
themselves  into  tins  suspicion  ?  Are  the  people 
to  be  blamed,  if  they  have  the  sense  of  rational 
creatures,  and  can  think  of  things  no  otherwise 
than  as  they  find  and  feel  them  ?  And  is  it  not 


rather  their  fi mil, who  put  things  into  such  a 
posture,  that  they  would  not  have  them  thought 
to  be  as  they  are?  I  grant,  that  the  pride,  am- 
bition, and  turbulency  of  private  men  have 
sometimes  caused  great  disorders  in  common- 
wealths, and  factions  have  been  fatal  to  states 
and  kingdoms.  But  whether  the  mischief  hath 
oftener  begun  in  the  people's  wantonness,  and  a 
desire  to  cast  off  the  lawful  authority  of  their 
rulers,  or  in  the  rulers  insolence,  and  endeavours 
to  get  and  exercise  an  arbitrary  power  over 
their  people  ;  whether  oppression  or  disobedi- 
ence, gave  the  first  rise  to  the  disorder,  I  leave 
it  to  impartial  history  to  determine.  This  I 
am  sure,  whoever,  either  ruler  or  subject,  by 
force  goes  about  to  invade  the  rights  of  either 
prince  or  people,  and  lays  the  foundation  for 
overturning  the  constitution  and  frame  of  any 
just  government,  is  highly  guilty  of  the  greatest 
crime,  I  think,  a  man  is  capable  of,  being  to 
answer  for  all  those  mischiefs  of  blood,  rapine, 
and  desolation,  which  the  breaking  to  pieces 
of  governments  bring  on  a  country.  And  he 
who  does  it,  is  justly  to  be  esteemed  the  com- 
mon enemy  and  pest  of  mankind,  and  is  to  be 
treated  accordingly. 

§.231.  That  subjects  or  foreigners,  attempt- 
ing by  force  on  the  properties  of  any  people, 
may  be  resisted  with  force,  is  agreed  on  all 
hands.  But  that  magistrates,  doing  the  same 
thing,  may  be  resisted,  hath  of  late  been  de- 
nied :  as  if  those  who  had  the  greatest  privi- 
2  c  2 


leges  and  advantages  by  the  law,  had  thereby 
a  power  to  break  those  laws,  by  which  alone 
they  were  set  in  a  better  place  than  their 
brethren :  whereas  their  offence  is  thereby  the 
greater,  both  as  being  ungrateful  for  the  greater 
share  they  have  by  the  law,  and  breaking  also 
that  trust,  which  is  put  into  their  hands  by 
their  brethren. 

§.  232.  Whosoever  uses  force  ivithout  right, 
as  every  one  does  in  society,  who  does  it  with- 
out law,  puts  himself  into  a  state  of  war  with 
those  against  whom  he  so  uses  it ;  and  in  that 
state  all  former  ties  are  cancelled,  all  other 
rights  cease,  and  every  one  has  a  right  to  defend 
himself,  and  to  resist  the  aggressor.  This  is  so 
evident,  that  Barclay  himself,  that  great  asser- 
tor  of  the  power  and  sacredness  of  kings,  is 
forced  to  confess,  That  it  is  lawful  for  the 
people,  in  some  cases,  to  resist  their  king  ;  and 
that  too  in  a  chapter,  wherein  he  pretends  to 
shew,  that  the  divine  law  shuts  up  the  people 
from  all  manner  of  rebellion.  Whereby  it  is 
evident,  even  by  his  own  doctrine,  that,  since 
they  may  in  some  cases,  resist,  all  resisting  of 
princes  is  not  rebellion.  His  words  are  these. 
Quod  siquis  dicat,  Ergone  populus  tyrannicce 
crudelitati  Sf  furori  jugulum  semper  jweebebit  ? 
Ergone  multitudo  civitates  suas  fame,  ferro,  6f 
flamma  vastari,  seque,  conjuges,  <£■  liberos  for- 
tunes ludibrio  fy  tyranni  libidini  exponi,  inque 
omnia  vilce  pericula  omnesque  miserias  Sf  moles- 
lias  a  rege  deduct  patient ur  ?  Num  illis  quod 


omni  animantiunt  generi  est  a  naturd  tributum, 
denegari  debet,  ut  sc.  vim  vi  repellant,  sesc<j ;  ub 
injuria  tueantur?  Hide  breviter  responsum  sit, 
Popalo  universe*  negari  defensionem,  quce  juris 
naturalisest,  neque  ultionem  qua  prajler  naturam 
est  adversus  regent  concedi  debere.  Quaproptcr 
si  rex  non  in  singulares  tantum  pcrsonas  aliquot 
privatum  odium  exerccat,  sed  corpus  ctiam  rei- 
publica,  cujus  ipse  caput  est,  i.  e.  totum populum, 
vel  insignent  aliquant  ejus  partem  iinmani  fy  in- 
toleranda,  scevitid  sen  tyrannide  divcxel;  populo, 
quidem,  hoc  casu  rcsislendi  ac  tuendi  se  ab  injuria 
potestas  competit,  sed  tuendi  sc  tantum,  nan  enim 
in  principem  invadendi:  §•  restituenda  injuria 
illata,  non  recedendi  a  debitd  revcrenliu  propter 
accept  am  injur  iam.  Prcesentem  denique  impe- 
tum  propulsandi  non  vim  prateritam  ulciscenti 
jus  habet.  Horum  enim  alterum  a  naturd  est, 
ut  vitam  scilicet  corpusque  tueantur.  Alterum 
verb  contra  naturam,  ut  inferior  de  superiori 
suppliciunt  sumat.  Quod  itaque  populus  malum, 
antequam  factum  sit,  impedire  potest,  ne  fiat,  id 
postquam  factum  est,  in  regent  author  em  sceleris 
vindicare  nott  potest :  populus  igitur  hoc  amplius 
qudm  privatus  quispiam  habet:  quod  huic,  vel 
ipsis  adversariis  judicibus,  excepto  Suchanano, 
nullum  nisi  in  patentia  rented ium  superest.  Ciim 
ille  si  intolerabilis  tyrannus  est  (modicum  enim 
ferre  omnino  debet)  resistere  cum  reverentid  pos- 
sit.     Barclay  contra  Monarchom.  1.  Hi.  c.  8, 


Ill  English  thus : 

§.  233.  But  if  any  one  should  ask,  Must  the 
people  then  ahvays  lay  themselves  open  to  the 
cruelty  and  rage  of  tyranny  ?  3Iust  they  see  their 
cities  pilaged,  and  laid  in  ashes,  their  ivives  and 
children  exposed  to  the  tyrant's  lust  and  fury, 
and  themselves  and  families  reduced  by  their 
king  to  ruin,  and  all  the  miseries  of  want  and 
oppression,  and  yet  sit  still?  3hist  men  alone 
be  debarred  the  common  privilege  of  opposing 
force  with  force,  which  nature  allows  so  freely 
to  all  other  creatures  for  their  preservation 
from  injury  ?  I  answer :  Self-defence  is  a  part 
of  the  law  of  nature ;  nor  can  it  be  denied  the 
community,  even  against  the  king  himself:  but 
to  revenge  themselves  upon  him,  must  by  no 
means  be  allowed  them :  it  being  not  agreeable 
to  that  law.  Wherefore  if  the  king  shall  sheiv 
an  hatred,  not  only  to  some  particular  persons, 
but  sets  himself  against  the  body  of  the  common- 
wealth, whereof  he  is  the  head,  and  shall,  with 
intolerable  ill  usage,  cruelly  tyrannize  over  the 
ii'hole,  or  a  considerable  part  of  the  people,  in 
this  case  the  people  have  a  right  to  resist  and 
defend  themselves  from  injury :  but  it  must  be 
ivith  this  caution,  that  they  only  defend  them- 
selves, but  do  not  attack  their  prince :  they  7nay 
repair  the  damages  received,  but  must  not  for 
any  provocation  exceed  the  bounds  of  due  reve- 
rence and  reaped.     They  may  repulse  the  present 


attempt,  but  must  not  revenge  past  violences: 
for  it  is  natural  for  us  to  defend  life  and  limb, 
but  that  an  inferior  should  punish  a  superior,  is 
against  nature.  The  mischief  which  is  designed 
them,  the  people  may  prevent  before  it  be  done ; 
but  when  it  is  done,  they  must  not  revenge  it  on 
the  king,  though  author  of  the  villany.  This 
therefore  is  the  "privilege  of  the  people  in  general, 
above  ivhat  any  private  person  hath ;  that  par- 
ticular men  are  allowed  by  our  adversaries  them- 
selves (Buchanan  only  excepted)  to  have  no 
other  remedy  but  patience;  but  the  body  of  the 
people  may  ivith  respect  resist  intolerable  tyrau- 
nV  i  for  when  it  is  but  moderate,  they  ought  to 
endure  it. 

%.  234.  Thus  far  that  great  advocate  of  mo- 
narchical power  allows  of  resistence. 

§.  235.  It  is  true,  he  has  annexed  two  limi- 
tations to  it,  to  no  purpose  : 

First,  He  says,  it  must  be  with  reverence. 

Secondly,  It  must  be  without  retribution,  or 
punishment ;  and  the  reason  he  gives  is,  because 
an  inferior  cannot  punish  a  superior. 

First,  How  to  resist  force  without  striking 
again,  or  how  to  strike  with  reverence,  will 
need  some  skill  to  make  intelligible.  He  that 
shall  oppose  an  assault  only  with  a  shield  to 
receive  the  blows,  or  in  any  more  respectful 
posture,  without  a  sword  in  his  hand,  to  abate 
the  confidence  and  force  of  the  assailant,  will 
quickly  be  at  an  end  of  his  resistance,  and  will 
find    such  a   defence  serve    onlv   to    draw  on 


himself  the  worse  usage.  This  is  as  ridiculous 
a  way  of  resisting,  as  Juvenal  thought  it  of 
fighting  ;  ubi  tu pulsus,  ego  vapulo  tantum.  And 
the  success  of  the  combat  will  be  unavoidably 
the  same  he  there  describes  it : 

— Libert  as  pauperis  hcec  est : 

Pulsatus  rogat,  <Sf  pugnis  concisus  adorat, 

Ut  liceat  paucis  cum  dentibus  inde  reverti. 

This  will  always  be  the  event  of  such  an  im- 
aginary resistance,  where  men  may  not  strike 
again.  He  therefore  who  may  resist  must  be 
allowed  to  strike.  And  then  let  our  author,  or 
any  body  else,  join  a  knock  on  the  head,  or  a 
cut  on  the  face,  with  as  much  reverence  and 
respect  as  he  thinks  fit.  He  that  can  reconcile 
blows  and  reverence,  may,  for  aught  I  know, 
desire  for  his  pains,  a  civil,  respectful  cudgeling 
wherever  he  can  meet  with  it. 

Secondly,  As  to  his  second,  An  inferior 
cannot  punish  a  superior ;  that  is  true,  generally 
speaking,  whilst  he  is  his  superior.  But  to 
resist  force  with  force,  being  the  state  of  ivar 
that  levels  the  jmrties,  cancels  all  former  rela- 
tion of  reverence,  respect,  and  superiority:  and 
then  the  odds  that  remains,  is,  that  he,  who 
opposes  the  unjust  aggressor,  has  this  supe- 
riority over  him,  that  he  has  a  right,  when  he 
prevails,  to  punish  the  offender,  both  for  the 
breach  of  the  peace,  and  all  the  evils  that 
followed  upon  it.    Barclay  therefore,  in  another 


place,  more  coherently  to  himself,  denies  it  to 
be  lawful  to  resist  a  king  in  any  case.  But  he 
there  assigns  two  cases,  whereby  a  king  may 
nn-king  himself.     His  words  are, 

Quid  ergo,  nulline  casus  iucidere  possunl 
quibus  populo  sese  erigere  atque  in  regem  im- 
potentius  dominantem  arma  capcre  Sf  invadere 
jure  suo  sudque  authoritate  liceat?  Nulli  eerie 
quamdiu  rex  manet.  Semper  enim  ex  divinis  id 
obstat,  Regem  honorificato ;  &  qui  potestati 
resistit,  Dei  ordinationi  resistit:  non  alias  igitur 
in  eum  populo  potestas  est  quam  si  id  committat 
propter  quod  ipso  jure  rex  esse  desinat.  Tunc 
enim  se  ipse  principatu  exuit  atque  in  privatis 
constituit  liber:  hoc  modo  populus  8f  superior 
efficitur,  reverse  ad  eum  sc.  jure  illo  quod  ante 
regem  inauguratum  in  interregno  habuit.  At 
sunt  paucorum  generum  commissa  ejusmodi  qua? 
/tunc  effectum  pariunt.  At  ego  cum  plurima 
animo  perlustrem,  duo  tantum  i?ivetiio,  duos, 
inquam,  casus  quibus  rex  ipso  facto  ex  rege 
non  regem  se  facit  fy  omni  honor e  fy  dignitate 
regali  atque  in  subditos  potestate  destituit ; 
quorum  ctiam  meminit  Winzerus.  Horum  unns 
est,  Si  rcgnum  disperdat,  quemadmodum  de  Ne- 
rone  Jertur,  quod  is  nempe  senatum  populumque 
llomanum,  atque  adeo  urbem  ipsam  ferro  flam- 
maque  vastarc,  ac  novas  sibi  sedes  qucerere  decre- 
visset.  Et  de  Caligula,  quod  palam  denunciarit 
se  neque  cirem  neque  principem  senatui  amplius 
fore,  inquc  animo  habuerit  interempto  utriusque 
ordinis  elcclissimo  quoque  Alexandrian!  commi- 


grave,  ac  ut  populum  uno  iclu  interimeret,  unam 
ei  cervicem  optavit.  Talia  cum  rex  aliquis  me- 
ditatur  <Sf  molitur  serio,  omnem  regnandi  cwram 
ty  animum  ilico  abjicit,  ac  proinde  imperium  in 
subditos  amittit,  ut  dominus  servi  pro  derelicto 
habit i  dominium. 

§.  236.  Alter  casus  est,  Si  rex  in  alicujus 
client elam  se  contulit,  ac  regnum  quod  Uberum 
a  majoribus  fy  populo  traditum  accepit,  alienee 
ditioni  mancipavit.  Nam  tunc  quamvis  forte 
non  ed  mente  id  agit  populo  pla?ie  ut  incommo- 
det :  tamen  quia  quod  prcecipuum  est  regice 
dignitatis  amisit,  ut  summits  scilicet  in  regno 
secundum  Deum  sit,  fy  solo  Deo  inferior,  atque 
jwpidum  etiam  totum  ignorantem  vel  invitum,  cu- 
jus  libertatem  sartam  Sf  tectam  conservare  debuit, 
in  alterius  gentis  ditionem  fy  potestatem  dedidit ; 
hue  velut  quadam  regni  ab  alienatione  effecit,  ut 
nee  quod  ipse  in  regno  imperium  habuit  retineat, 
ne  in  eum  cui  collatum  voluit,  juris  quicquam 
transferat ;  atque  ita  eo  facto  Uberum  jam  &f 
sua  potestatis  populum  relinquit,  cujus  rei  exem- 
plum  unum  annates  Scotici  suppeditant.  Bar- 
clay contra  Monarchom.  1.  iii.  c.  16. 

Which  in  English  runs  thus : 

§.  237.  What  then,  can  there  be  no  case 
happen  ivherein  the  people  may  of  right,  and 
by  their  own  authority,  help  themselves,  take 
arms,  cuul  set  upon  their  king,  imperiously 
domineering    over    them?    None   at   all,   whilst 


he  remains  a  king.  Honour  the  king,  and 
he  that  resists  the  power,  resists  the  ordinance 
of  God ;  are  divine  oracles  thai  will  never 
permit  it.  The  people  therefore  can  never  come 
by  a  power  over  him,  unless  he  does  something 
that  makes  him  cease  to  be  a  king:  for  then 
he  divests  himself  of  his  crown  and  dignity, 
and  returns  to  the  state  of  a  private  man, 
and  the  people  become  free  and  superior,  the 
power  which  they  had  in  the  interregnum,  be- 
fore they  crowned  him  king,  devolving  to  them 
again.  Hut  there  are  but  few  miscarriages 
which  bring  the  matter  to  this  state.  After 
considering  it  ivell  on  all  sides,  I  can  find  but 
tw'o.  Two  cases  there  are,  I  say,  whereby  a 
king,  ipso  facto,  becomes  no  king,  and  loses  all 
power  and  regal  authority  over  his  people; 
which  are  also  taken  notice  of  by  Winzerus. 

The  first  is,  If  he  endeavour  to  overturn 
the  government,  that  is,  if  he  have  a  purpose 
and  design  to  ruin  the  kingdom  and  common- 
wealth, as  it  is  recorded  of  Nero,  that  he 
resolved  to  cut  off  the  senate  and  people  of 
Rome,  lay  the  city  waste  with  fire  and  sword, 
and  then  remove  to  some  other  place.  And 
of  Caligula,  that  he  openly  declared,  that  he 
would  be  no  longer  a  head  to  the  people  or 
senate,  and  that  he  had  it  in  his  thoughts 
to  cut  off  the  worthiest  men  of  both  ranks, 
and  then  retire  to  Alexandria:  and  he  wished 
that  the  people  had  but  one  neck,  that  he  might 
dispatch   them   all  at  a   bloiv.      Such  designs 


as  these,  when .  any  king  harbours  in  his 
thoughts,  and  seriously  promotes,  he  immedi- 
ately gives  up  all  the  care  and  thought  of  the 
commonwealth;  and  consequently  forfeits  the 
poiver  of  governing  his  subjects,  as  a  master 
does  the  dominion  over  his  slaves  whom  he  hath 

§.  238.  The  other  case  is,  When  a  king  makes 
himself  the  dependent  of  another,  and  subjects 
his  kingdom  which  his  ancestors  left  him,  and 
the  people  put  free  into  his  hands,  to  the  do- 
minion of  another :  for  however  perhaps  it  may 
not  be  his  intention  to  prejudice  the  people;  yet 
because  he  has  hereby  lost  the  principal  part  of 
regal  dignity,  viz.  to  be  next  and  immediately 
under  God,  supreme  in  his  kingdom ;  and  also 
because  he  betrayed  or  forced  his  people,  whose 
liberty  he  ought  to  have  carefully  preserved,  into 
the  power  and  dominion  of  a  foreign  nation. 
JBy  this,  as  it  were,  alienation  of  his  kingdom,  he 
himself  looses  the  power  he  had  in  it  before, 
without  transferring  any  the  least  right  to  those 
on  whom  he  would  have  bestowed  it ;  and  so  by 
this  act  sets  the  people  jree,  and  leaves  them  at 
their  own  disposal.  One  example  of  this  is  to  be 
found  in  the  Scotch  Annals. 

§.  239.  In  these  cases  Barclay,  the  great 
champion  of  absolute  monarchy,  is  forced  to 
allow,  that  a  king  may  be  resisted,  and  ceases 
to  be  a  king.  That  is,  in  short,  not  to  multiply 
cases,  in  whatsoever  he  has  no  authority,  there 
he  is  no  king,  and  may  be  resisted:  for  whereso- 


ever  the  authority  ceases,  the  king  ceases  too, 
and  becomes  like  other  men  who  have  no  au- 
thority. And  these  two  cases  he  instances  in, 
differ  little  from  those  above  mentioned,  to  be 
destructive  to  governments,  only  that  he  has 
omitted  the  principle  from  which  his  doctrine 
flows ;  and  that  is,  the  breach  of  trust,  in  not 
preserving  the  form  of  government  agreed  on, 
and  in  not  intending  the  end  of  government 
itself,  which  is  the  public  good  and  preserva- 
tion of  property.  When  a  king  has  dethroned 
himself,  and  put  himself  in  a  state  of  war  with 
his  people,  what  shall  hinder  them  from  prose- 
cuting him  who  is  no  king,  as  they  would  any 
other  man,  who  has  put  himself  into  a  state 
of  war  with  them ;  Barclay,  and  those  of  his 
opinion,  would  do  well  to  tell  us.  This  farther 
I  desire  may  be  taken  notice  of  out  of  Barclay, 
that  he  says,  The  mischief  that  is  designed 
them,  the  people  may  prevent  before  it  be  done : 
whereby  he  allows  resistance  when  tyranny  is 
but  in  design.  Such  designs  as  these  (says  he) 
ivhen  any  king  harbours  in  his  thoughts  and 
seriously  promotes,  he  immediately  gives  up  all 
care  and  thought  of  the  commonwealth;  so 
that,  according  to  him,  the  neglect  of  the 
public  good  is  to  be  taken  as  an  evidence  of 
such  design,  or  at  least  for  a  sufficient  cause 
of  resistance.  And  the  reason  of  all,  he  gives 
in  these  words,  Because  he  betrayed  or  forced 
his  people,  tvhose  liberty  he  ought  carefully  to 
have  preserved.     What  he  adds,  into  the  power 


and  dominion  of  a  foreign  nation,  signifies  no- 
thing, the  fault  and  forfeiture  lying  in  the  loss 
of  their  liberty,  which  he  ought  to  have  preser- 
ved, and  not  in  any  distinction  of  the  persons 
to  whose  dominion  they  were  subjected.  The 
people's  right  is  equally  invaded,  and  their 
liberty  lost,  whether  they  are  made  slaves  to 
any  of  their  own,  or  a  foreign  nation ;  and  in 
this  lies  the  injury,  and  against  this  only  they 
have  the  right  of  defence.  And  there  are  in- 
stances to  be  found  in  all  countries,  which 
shew,  that  it  is  not  the  change  of  nations  in  the 
persons  of  their  governors,  but  the  change  of 
government,  that  gives  the  offence.  Bilson,  a 
bishop  of  our  church,  and  a  great  stickler  for 
the  power  and  prerogative  of  princes,  does,  if 
I  mistake  not,  in  his  treatise  of  Christian  sub- 
jection, acknowledge,  that  princes  may  forfeit 
their  power,  and  their  title  to  the  obedience  of 
their  subjects;  and  if  there  needed  authority 
in  a  case  where  reason  is  so  plain,  I  could 
send  my  reader  to  ^Br  acton,  Fortescue,  and  the 
author  of  the  Mirrour,  and  others,  writers  that 
cannot  be  suspected  to  be  ignorant  of  our  go- 
vernment, or  enemies  to  it.  But  I  thought 
Hooker  alone  might  be  enough  to  satisfy  those 
men,  who  relying  on  him  for  their  ecclesiastical 
polity,  are  by  a  strange  fate  carried  to  deny 
those  principles  upon  which  he  builds  it. 
"Whether  they  are  herein  made  the  tools  of 
cunninger  workmen,  to  pull  down  their  own 
fabric,  thev  were  best  look.     This  1   am  sure, 


their  civil  policy  is  so  new,  so  dangerous,  and 
so  destructive  to  both  rulers  and  people,  that 
as  former  ages  never  could  bear  the  broaching 
of  it;  so  it  may  be  hoped,  those  to  come,  re- 
deemed from  the  impositions  of  these  Egyptian 
under-task-masters,  will  abhor  the  memory  of 
such  servile  flatterers,  who,  whilst  it  seemed 
to  serve  their  turn,  resolved  all  government 
into  absolute  tyranny,  and  would  have  all  men 
born  to,  what  their  mean  souls  fitted  them  for, 

§.  240.  Here,  it  is  like,  the  common  ques- 
tion will  be  made,  Who  shall  be  judge,  whether 
the  prince  or  legislative  act  contrary  to  their 
trust?  This,  perhaps  ill-affected  and  factious 
men  may  spread  amongst  the  people,  when  the 
prince  only  makes  use  of  his  due  prerogative. 
To  this  I  reply,  The  people  shall  be  judge ;  for 
who  shall  be  judge  whether  his  trustee  or 
deputy  acts  well,  and  according  to  the  trust 
reposed  in  him,  but  he  who  deputes  him,  and 
must,  by  having  deputed  him,  have  still  a  power 
to  discard  him,  when  he  fails  in  his  trust?  If 
this  be  reasonable  in  particular  cases  of  private 
men,  why  should  it  be  otherwise  in  that  of  the 
greatest  moment,  where  the  welfare  of  millions 
is  concerned,  and  also  where  the  evil,  if  not 
prevented,  is  greater,  and  the  redress  very  dif- 
ficult, dear,  and  dangerous? 

§.241.  But  farther,  this  question  (Who  shall 
be  judge?)  cannot  mean,  that  there  is  no  jndge 
at  all:    for  where   there  is  no   judicature   on 


earth,  to  decide  controversies  amongst  men, 
God  in  heaven  is  judge.  He  alone,  it  is  true, 
is  judge  of  the  right.  But  every  man  is  judge 
for  himself,  as  in  all  other  cases,  so  in  this, 
whether  another  hath  put  himself  into  a  state 
of  war  with  him,  and  whether  he  should  appeal 
to  the  Supreme  Judge,  as  Jephtha  did. 

§.  242.  If  a  controversy  arise  betwixt  a 
prince  and  some  of  the  people,  in  a  matter 
where  the  law  is  silent,  or  doubtful,  and  the 
thing  be  of  great  consequence,  I  should  think 
the  proper  umpire,  in  such  a  case,  should  be 
the  body  of  the  people:  for  in  cases  where 
the  prince  hath  a  trust  reposed  in  him,  and  is 
dispensed  from  the  common  ordinary  rules  of 
the  law;  there,  if  any  men  find  themselves 
aggrieved,  and  think  the  prince  acts  contrary 
to,  or  beyond  that  trust,  who  so  proper  to 
judge  as  the  body  of  the  people,  (who,  at  first, 
lodged  that  trust  in  him)  how  far  they  meant  it 
should  extend?  But  if  the  prince,  or  whoever 
they  be  in  the  administration,  decline  that  way 
of  determination,  the  appeal  then  lies  no  where 
but  to  heaven ;  force  between  either  persons, 
who  have  no  known  superior  on  earth,  or  which 
permits  no  appeal  to  a  judge  on  earth,  being 
properly  a  state  of  war,  wherein  the  appeal 
lies  only  to  heaven ;  and  in  that  state  the  in- 
jured party  must  judge  for  himself,  when  he 
will  think  fit  to  make  use  of  that  appeal,  and 
put  himself  upon  it. 

§.  243.  To  conclude,  The  power  that  every 


individual  gave  the  society *,  when  he  entered 
into  it,  can  never  revert  to  the  individuals 
again,  as  long  as  the  society  lasts,  but  will 
always  remain  in  the  community ;  because 
without  this  there  can  be  no  community,  no 
commonwealth,  which  is  contrary  to  the  origi- 
nal agreement :  so  also  when  the  society  hath 
placed  the  legislative  in  any  assembly  of  men, 
to  continue  in  them  and  their  successors,  with 
direction  and  authority  for  providing  such 
successors,  the  legislative  can  never  revert  to 
the  people  whilst  that  government  lasts ;  be- 
cause having  provided  a  legislative  with  power 
to  continue  for  ever,  they  have  given  up  their 
political  power  to  the  legislative,  and  cannot 
resume  it.  But  if  they  have  set  limits  to  the 
duration  of  their  legislative,  and  made  this 
supreme  power  in  any  person,  or  assembly, 
only  temporary ;  or  else,  when  by  the  mis- 
carriages of  those  in  authority,  it  is  forfeited ; 
upon  the  forfeiture,  or  at  the  determination  of 
the  time  set,  it  reverts  to  the  society,  and  the 
people  have  a  right  to  act  as  supreme,  and 
continue  the  legislative  in  themselves ;  or  erect 
a  new  form,  or  under  the  old  form  place  it  in 
new  hands,  as  they  think  good. 


BW,  &  S.  Gardiner,  Printers,  Princes  Stie*t,Cavendish-squaie. 



*.  «**• 

.^T  X 



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